Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
  Non-Javascript users can confirm they have successfully signed out of MyAccount by clicking here

Exercise Referral Scheme

For some people, getting active can be a challenge and they need some extra support. This is where the Exercise Referral Scheme can help. It's an exciting exercise programme which your GP, practice nurse or health advisor can recommend for you. This 12 week programme is an opportunity to take part in a range of activities at leisure and community centres throughout the Rochdale Borough.

Who is it for?

The Exercise Referral Scheme is intended for people who:

  • Are over 16.
  • Have a recurring illness or chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, heart condition (heart attack, heart surgery, and angina), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint or muscle conditions, mental health problems, pulmonary diseases and epilepsy.
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 25. Calculate your BMI.
  • Are not exercising and would benefit from a structured 12 week personal exercise programme.

Who should I talk to about the scheme?

If you think you're eligible, please talk to your GP, practice nurse or health advisor for a referral. You can also be referred by specialist NHS services, local health trainers and local public health services.

The medical professional will send us a referral letter and we'll contact you to arrange an initial appointment with an exercise referral officer. Please let us know if you would like an interpreter present at this initial appointment.

What happens at the initial appointment?

The exercise referral officer will meet you at one of these local centres:

The meeting will last for about an hour and does not include any form of exercise. The exercise referral officer will carry out a health and lifestyle assessment and discuss suitable exercise and activities that you might enjoy doing during the 12 week programme. You'll be able to raise any questions or concerns that you may have about taking part in the scheme.

What activities are on offer?

These are some of the activities included in the scheme:

  • Swimming.
  • Exercise classes – for example, tai chi, yoga, water aerobics.
  • Walking groups.
  • Gym sessions.
  • Long term condition classes.

What support will I get?

Throughout the 12 week scheme you can discuss your progress with the exercise referral officer and fitness advisers. At the end of the scheme you will have a final appointment with the exercise referral officer where you can talk about your progress and how you are going to continue your healthier lifestyle.

How much will it cost?

Some activities are FREE and others are available at reduced cost for the duration of the 12 week scheme. After this you'll receive a complimentary Passport to Leisure card enabling you to continue using leisure facilities at reduced rates. For more information contact the Exercise Referral Team.


01706 751190

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Exercise Referral Team
Suite G2, Lock 50 Business Centre
Oldham Road
Rochdale OL16 5RD