Health and wellbeing

Service information

The re:fresh initiative works to improve the health and wellbeing of residents by providing free leisure and health and well being information and education. It is a partnership between the Council and the NHS.

You can find out find out about a wide range of leisure, health and wellbeing activities, events and services available throughout Blackburn with Darwen by visiting the re:fresh website. The website lists activities and event hosted by the Council, partner organisations or independent sports clubs.

All you need is a beeZ card...


Apply online for your beeZ card to access free leisure.

What is re:fresh?

re:fresh is a unique partnership between Blackburn with Darwen Care Trust Plus and the Borough Council. They have invested money into helping to increase levels of physical activity to improve heath and well being.

Is re:fresh continuing?

Yes, due to the success of re:fresh the Council and Care Trust Plus have committed to a further two years of funding. This demonstrates our commitment to the health and well being of the people of Blackburn with Darwen. Due to the success of the scheme and the impact it has made on the health of the community investing this money now will money in years to come.

What do we hope to achieve?

To improve the health and well being within the borough by:

  • Increasing levels of participation by adults in the borough;
  • Decrease number of adults doing no physical activity;
  • The programme will also contribute to the overall aim of improving all age cause mortality statistics and reducing the death rate from all circulatory diseases;
  • Through the commitment to enhance family activity provision and expand free junior swimming the project will also contribute to tackling the incidence of childhood obesity.

Who qualifies for re:fresh?

Adults (16 and over) who live, work, are in full time education or whose GP practice is in Blackburn with Darwen qualifies for free leisure, children and families will be able to take advantage of activities on weekends.

What is available free of charge?

The following activities will continue to be provided through re:fresh completely free of charge to beeZ card holders:

  • Swimming and gym usage at programmed times in all Blackburn with Darwen leisure centres and pools;
  • Casual bookings for court activities like badminton, table tennis and 5-a-side;
  • A wide range of exercise classes in community venues and other community activities like group walks and cycling;
  • Casual bowling within leisure centres and outdoor bowling season tickets will remain free under re:fresh (please note that individual clubs may choose to collect green fees);
  • Tennis courts.

What has changed?

From April 1, 2011, charges will be introduced for the following:

  • All leisure centre classes (including Swimfit). These will be charged at the current fees and charges rate;
  • Bowling - structured league sessions will become chargeable;
  • Afternoon music halls at King Georges Hall and Darwen Library Theatre will return to being charged for events;
  • Some Healthwise sessions will become chargeable for anyone without a referral from a healthcare professional.

For further details, please contact the Healthwise team on 01254 682 053.

Are any activities and leisure facilities exempt?

The use of Regency gyms at Waves and Darwen Leisure Centre during weekdays all day and weekends until 12 noon are outside of the scope of this initiative. They are deemed to operate on a commercially competitive basis along side private providers in the borough. The current beeZ memberships and concession pricing policy for use of these 2 fitness gyms will be retained.

Due to increased demand for activities the Regency gym at Waves and Darwen Leisure Centre are now available free on the weekends under re:fresh at the following times:

Block booking of facilities by leagues and clubs are also exempt from this initiative. The free offer is focused on providing opportunities and support to help individuals take responsibility for their own health and encourage healthier, more active lifestyles.

What is classed as a family?

A family can be up to 5 members but must include both adults and children. Examples of combinations are below:

  • 1 adult and up to 4 children
  •  2 adults and up to 3 children

Children must be 16 and under. Maximum of 2 adults per family.

How do I take part in re:fresh?

To take part all you need is a beeZ card. Apply online for a free beeZ card or visit one of the Council's leisure centres.

What proof is required to obtain a free beeZ card?

The following proof will be required to obtain a free beeZ card:

  • Work - wage slip and/or ID badge with photograph that states the company is in Blackburn and Darwen; letter on company headed paper;
  • Live - utility bill/driving licence/bank statement;
  • Education - letter on headed paper; ID badge stating full time education;
  • GP within Blackburn with Darwen - letter on headed paper or stamped with surgery details; doctors card stating with which GP the patient is registered.

How can I find out about activities near where I live?

A brand new website has now been launched, which features information about all sorts of activities and events in Blackburn with Darwen, including leisure centre sessions, community events and activities offered through private providers. It has an easy to use search button to help you find out what's happening nearest to where you live. Visit the website at

What if I lose my beeZ card?

All customers who are eligible for the scheme are entitled to one free beeZ replacement card. Any further replacement cards will have to be paid for, at a cost of £3.75.

What if I forget my beeZ card when attending a free leisure activity?

The session will need to be paid for. A refund may be given if the beeZ card and receipt is shown at the leisure centre on the same day.

Do I need to bring a photograph?

No. A photo will be taken at the leisure centre reception.

How long do the free leisure cards last?

The beeZ card will not expire, eligibility to re:fresh will be checked on an ad-hoc basis.

Contact details

Mail beeZ Team, Blackburn Central Library, Town Hall Street, Blackburn. BB2 1AG
Phone Number(s) 01254 708080
Fax Number(s)  
Extra Information
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