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TGO gyms & healthy, sustainable towns: Slough Borough Council

TGO gyms & healthy, sustainable towns: Slough Borough Council

It's an affordable model for health and sustainability in the 20s: install and activate free-to-use TGO gyms within walking distance of everyone's home. For a fraction of the investment needed for one public swimming pool or leisure centre, you can build a healthy, sustainable town. 

This is exactly what Slough Borough Council have done. Since 2016, they have transformed their parks and open spaces, breaking down barriers to physical activity in every neighbourhood. They have innovated with us along the way too, inspiring gym users of all ages and fitness levels. We are so proud of this partnership with such a visionary council.

Firstly, Slough have invested in 28 TGO outdoor gyms. Their goal was to install a TGO gym within 20 minutes walking distance of everyone's home, to tackle health inequalities including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Secondly, Slough commissioned 2 TGO Smart Activator Screens, providing 21+ free classes everyday with expert trainers. In 2020, we installed the world-first Smart Activator Screen in Salt Hill Park, Slough. The multi-award winning screen is programmed with HIIT classes, physiotherapy, yoga, family workouts, power sessions and the TGO Big Community workout. It's raising the bar again on inclusivity and accessibility of physical activity.

Our Smart Activator Screen features expert trainers and workouts for all fitness levels:


Sample calendar on the Smart Activator Screen:


Thirdly, Slough Borough Council worked closely with TGO to develop community activator training and TGO Smart technology to measure participation. It was another global first for outdoor gyms, involving and inspiring the community and measuring usage.



An inclusive and free TGO gym for everyone in town

Slough Borough Council's example is something that TGO have long been calling for. With the prevalence of chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression and obesity, outdoor gyms should be as accessible to adults of all ages and teenagers, as playgrounds are for younger children. One TGO gym can serve a community of 5,000 people, so it's inspiring to work with Slough Borough Council to realise this vision for their town. With a resident population of 140,200 people on census day 2011 and 144,600 in 2014, the estimated population of Slough in 2020 is 152,620 people. With 28 TGO gyms, Slough Borough Council have now invested in one TGO outdoor gym for every 5,450 people.

Everyone can access their free and inclusive TGO gym kit. Activity can be measured by the Council with TGO Smart technology. Gym users have free access to the TGO Activate App via a smartphone, to find their nearest gym then record their activity and wellbeing. And now, Slough Borough Council have led the field again, commissioning our Smart Activator Screen (SAS) for two locations. The SAS is a multi-award winning screen, programmed from 6am until 9pm with free and inclusive classes that target all types of gym users. 

Inspired? Please get in touch with TGO gyms to design your healthy town.


Slough's #Fit2FightCovid campaign centres around their TGO gyms

In 2020, Slough Borough Council launched a major public health campaign called #Fit2FightCovid, tackling inactivity, obesity and smoking. They centred their drive to increase activity and reduce obesity around their network of TGO gyms. Commissioning their latest 8 gyms in 2020, bringing the total to 28, local residents have been empowered to boost their immunity on their doorstep. Everyone can take their daily dose of free movement medicine, which the Council are promoting with their #Fit2Fight Covid tuk-tuk zooming around town. It's all about boosting physical health, mental health and immunity in the great outdoors - another example of pioneering thinking from the Council's Leisure and Public Health teams. TGO were delighted to help Slough to create a promotional film about this life-saving campaign.

Speaking on the film to the Slough community, Kam Birdie, Active Communities Manager, said: "The campaign is about how we can support you to stay well for longer and fight Covid. There are three strands to #Fit2FightCovid: inactivity, obesity and smoking. We want you to reduce all these. We want you to become active. We want you to become well. We want you to do things that enhance your wellbeing, so you're able to fight Covid. We want you to start using all our green spaces. We want you to go out and do walks. We'd like you to go out and use our green gyms. We'd like you to access our Active Slough programme."


Tackling health inequalities and inactivity with a free, local and unique leisure offer 

Describing the heart of the challenge in Slough, Timothy Howells, Public Health Programme Officer, Public Health Slough said: “There are significant health inequalities in Slough’s diverse population. For example, the prevalence of obesity among children at age 10/11 (41.6%) remains statistically above national rates (34.3%) and there are high levels of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in our adult population. We know that keeping active plays a significant role in maintaining and improving people’s health and wellbeing and while we understand measuring this in real terms is difficult, levels of activity in Slough are low while levels of inactivity are high. 36.0% of adults are classified as inactive (England 25.2%) and 61.9% of adults are classified as overweight or obese (England 61.3%). Creating and developing a unique leisure offer which incorporates the opportunity of taking part in something that is free or low cost and something that is easily accessible and embedded in the local community is key to help overcome this inactivity crisis."

Alison Hibbert, Leisure Services Manger at Slough Borough Council, said: “The Great Outdoor Gym Company (TGO) has been instrumental in developing and improving the local offer in our parks and open spaces with a network of green gyms and MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) developments. The green gyms have been a major success with residents. Their popularity is due to the enormous effort of TGO and the council, working together with local people to identify the very best equipment for their needs. The quality of the equipment is exceptional too. However, it is not just a case of ‘build it and they will come’. There has been a real collaborative approach to engaging people to recognise the importance of regular activity in their everyday lives."


The power of TGO gym activation and innovation

Slough Borough Council has always understood the catalysts of activation and innovation at TGO gyms. They plugged their TGO gyms into their active community programmes from the start. Then in 2018, we approached Slough Borough Council to partner with us on developing our activation model, which resulted in 9 local people being recruited and trained to deliver the new TGO Big Community Workout. We piloted our Smart gym technology and online dashboard in Slough too, providing the tools to measure participation and energy generation on TGO Smart Energy kit. Click to read more about our activation test-bed in Slough.

If Slough can, you can! Please call TGO gyms or invite us to present to your team about creating your active, sustainable and healthy town or city.

  Case Studies
  31 December 2020

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