Wednesday 24 April 2013


Labour yesterday launched a campaign, ‘Fighting Fitter’, to encourage the leisure sector to offer discounted services to members of the Armed Forces. Whether Local Authority-led or privately-run, fitness facilities play a vital role in our communities keeping people fit. This is essential for members of the Armed Forces who, when away from their base, can often lack the resources to access health and fitness centres.

The campaign is working with two leading health facilities, PureGym and Virgin Active and expects similar initiatives to be rolled out across the sector in the coming weeks and months.

PureGym is waiving the joining fee of £25 for all members of the Armed Forces. To reclaim the offer they have to visit their local PureGym and show their ID card.

Labour is also encouraging Local Authorities to offer similar discounts. In this region, Ipswich Borough Council gave free 'i' cards- giving use of IBC swimming pools to soldiers from Wattisham residing in Ipswich.

Our Armed Forces, veterans and their families deserve respect. Labour is standing up for our Armed Forces. In the local election on 2 May a vote for Labour councillors is a vote for a five point plan of action, below, to support our Armed Forces:

•Naming streets after fallen heroes, offering families the chance to have a lasting commemoration to lost loved ones
•The Veterans Interview Programme (VIP), offering employment support for veterans
•Veterans Champions, a single point of contact to help veterans transition to civilian life
•Supporting the Community Covenant, urging local communities to support veterans and service families
•Fighting Fitter, working with the leisure sector to deliver discounts for members of the Armed Forces

I added:

“Ipswich led the way, supplying free tickets for the Regent through the Forces Charity- 'Tickets for Troops' and then went further by giving out free 'i' cards- giving use of IBC swimming pools to soldiers from Wattisham residing in Ipswich.

“As Veterans Champion, I know how important the 'fighting fitter' campaign is as soldiers struggle with the physical and sometimes mental scars left by their time in uniform. Ipswich is a great town to settle in and many soldiers from Wattisham will make this town their home when they leave the services, it is important we do all we can to help them settle into civilian life after they have served this country for so long.”

Jim Murphy MP Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary said:

“Fighting Fitter will benefit those who serve in the dust and danger of battlefields overseas.

“It is essential that all parts of our communities at home give to those who give so much on the frontline.

“We must protect the health and fitness of those who protect our nation.

“I am delighted major national companies and councils have taken the lead to demonstrate the pride we all feel in our Forces.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure the Armed Forces Covenant can become a reality for each and every member of the Forces and their families.”