Southampton residents can now take advantage of hundreds of free and fun activity sessions as ParkLives launches in the city for the first time. ParkLives, a national programme from Coca-Cola Great Britain delivered in partnership with Active Nation, will offer free and fun activity sessions in parks and green spaces across the region.

From jogging and cricket, to Family Fun sessions and paddle board yoga, ParkLives is designed to appeal to all ages and abilities, giving people the opportunity to get out and enjoy their parks and green spaces with a range of sports, games and activities on offer.

The programme will offer 20 different activities, all completely free, and led by a trained activity leader from the local area.  Residents can view a full timetable and reserve a space online at www.parklives.com

The action will run through to September, with an extended programme running throughout the summer holidays. Sessions will run in 11 parks and green spaces across the city including: Mansel Park, Riverside Park, Hoglands Park, Weston Shore, Southampton Common and Active Nation’s  Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre and Woodmill Outdoor Activities Centre.

Active Nation’s David Drew said: “We often talk to people who want to engage in some form of activity but either cannot afford it, cannot get to it or they have challenges like child care issues.  The ParkLives programme offers a fantastic opportunity to work with communities across the city to build a programme of fun, easily accessible activities right on their doorstep and at no cost eliminating the barriers people often face when trying to be active.  We also hope by providing some structured activity within local parks we can show people how easy and accessible these spaces are.

“As a charity on a mission to persuade the Nation to be Active, we are incredibly excited to be leading on the delivery of the ParkLives programme which we know will make a big difference to people across the city and in turn we hope to see more people make a commitment to leading a more active lifestyle.”

Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “ParkLives is all about bringing communities together to enjoy fun, free activities in their local green spaces and we’re delighted to be launching in Southampton this year.  It’s an opportunity to get out there and try something new with your friends and family, have fun and be active in the great outdoors.  For many years we have supported programmes that invest in the wellbeing of local communities – and ParkLives is a long-term partnership programme which does just that. Now in its third year, it’s fantastic to see the programme go from strength to strength and expand nationwide to ten cities across the UK.”

ParkLives launched in 2014 and is part of a £20 million commitment by Coca-Cola Great Britain to invest in community-based projects that help people be active. The programme now runs in 10 cities across the UK including Birmingham, Dundee, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Newham (London), Swansea, Southampton and Stoke-On-Trent.

A full timetable – including a postcode-led local park finder – can be found at www.parklives.com where people can register to book a free activity session for themselves, as well as friends and family.