Two leading not-for-profit organisations in South Yorkshire are working together to provide greater access to health services and mental health support.

Health and wellbeing provider, Westfield Health, is forming a new partnership with SIV – the health and wellbeing charity which operates 11 sport and leisure venues across Sheffield.

It means that anyone who signs up for SIV’s Fitness Unlimited ‘Access All Areas’ gym membership from July to September 2018 will benefit from a range of health, mental health and wellbeing solutions through Westfield Health’s Healthy Extras scheme.

Members will receive free telephone counselling, 24/7 access to a GP over the phone as well as membership for Big White Wall – an online mental health and wellbeing service offering self-help programmes, creative outlets and online therapy – any time anywhere.

Fitness Unlimited is one of Sheffield’s biggest and longest-serving gym schemes with a range of flexible membership packages to help people achieve their fitness goals.

‘Access All Areas’ offers members unlimited access to the gym, swimming and spa facilities and fitness classes at seven SIV venues – EIS Sheffield, Concord Sports Centre, Ponds Forge, Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Springs Leisure Centre, Westfield Sports Centre and Heeley Gym and Pool.

The unique new partnership, which launches on 1 July, also offers members access to Westfield Rewards which contains hundreds of exclusive deals and money-off discounts at more than 700 leading high street and online retailers.

Westfield Health’s Interim Chief Executive, Dave Capper, said: “We are extremely proud to be launching this exciting new partnership.

“In research we conducted, 30% of people said they felt unsure about who to talk to or where to go to find help or support regarding mental health issues, and nearly 40% of people find it hard to talk or open up about their mental health to anyone.

“Furthermore, research conducted by the NHS shows that people can face an average waiting time of 13 days before being able to see a GP.

“This partnership will help to tackle these types of problems, so people can pick up the phone to a doctor to help them or their family at any time or access emotional wellbeing support at the touch of a button.

“These services, which people can now benefit from automatically through their gym membership, provide instant access to a wide range of health and mental health support, aiding early intervention and prevention before problems develop.

“The project is part of our ongoing commitment to helping everyone to lead happier, healthier lives, as well as supporting the NHS and wider community.”

Andrew Snelling, Chief Executive at SIV, said: “We know that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and recent headlines show cases of clinical depression and depressive illness have surged to epidemic proportions in recent decades.

“As we celebrate the NHS turning 70, we also need to look at how we can succeed in building an NHS fit for the future. For this, we must understand the links between mental and physical health, and focus on prevention, not just cure.

“Fitness Unlimited is more than just a gym, and through this new partnership we’re proud to be offering instant access to truly transformational mental health services.”

Multi-award winning Big White Wall has been recognised by the NHS High Impact Innovation: Digital First Award and as one of the most inspiring social tech ventures in the world. It offers a safe online anonymous space for people to explore things that are troubling them – trained counsellors are online at all times to provide help and advice.

Andrew continued: “Both Westfield Health and SIV are dedicated to helping people lead healthier lives and achieve personal wellbeing so this fits perfectly. We hope this partnership will enable many more people to take care of their body and mind knowing that they can receive support and advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”

Additionally, the new partnership means that any SIV member can get 20% off Westfield Health’s Good4You Health Cash Plan which allows people to claim money back towards the cost of essential healthcare such as dental appointments, eye tests and therapy treatments. Any current Westfield Health member can also benefit from 20% off the SIV Access All Areas membership.