NEW Chief Executive at Rossendale Leisure Trust Samantha Sandford is determined to help residents become healthy and active both mentally as well as physically.

Sam has worked at Salford Community Leisure for 18 years, latterly as Head of Corporate Strategy and Performance.

In Salford, the leisure provision includes sport and fitness alongside museums and libraries which is similar to Rossendale where pools, gyms and climbing walls sit alongside cultural facilities including The Whitaker in Rawtenstall and The Ashcroft in Whitworth.

She said: “The Rossendale job attracted me because it is a community trust model which is all about giving back to the community. I am really passionate about helping support people to become more active and healthy and I’m looking forward to working with the Council and partners to further develop the vision for leisure and culture in Rossendale.”

Sam is committed to ensuring that Rossendale residents feel involved and part of the decision-making as the trust evolves, and she paid tribute to the sterling partnership work carried out by her predecessor Ken Masser.

Sam said: “I start on April 24 and I am looking forward to meeting all the team and getting to know all the partners, continuing the great work that has already been undertaken.

“We need to be encouraging people to be involved in any type of activity. Getting people healthy is not all about elitist sport, it’s about encouraging residents to use local assets indoor and outdoor to take small steps to get active.

“We need to be encouraging more people to try our facilities to create a more active community.”

The trust is responsible for facilities across the Valley from the Adrenaline Centre and sports pitches in Haslingden through to Bacup Pioneer Gym and Whitworth Leisure Centre. – Cathrine Smyth Media.