Parish Wharf Leisure Centre

At Places Leisure we're all about creating active places and healthy people for communities to thrive...

At Parish Wharf we know this to be true! The community spirit here is palpable, and we are keen to showcase our members' stories about what #OneCommunity means to them, friendships formed and how our community has seen them through tough times in their lives. Some have even met their partners here!

Parish Wharf is so much more than just a Leisure Centre and hopefully the stories shared show why community matters.

If you're feeling as inspired as we are, and you'd love to become a part of our community, join online today and save 10% using code 10OFF!

To share your #onecommunity story please email us.


I joined Parish Wharf Leisure Centre in August 2020.  I had very recently moved from up North to Portishead. I only knew my partner down South and decided to join a local gym to meet new friends and like-minded people! Exercise has always been a big part of my life and I know, from experience, that you meet the nicest people in a gym! I couldn’t have been more right. I have met so many great friends since I joined.

Parish Wharf is absolutely a community gym.  There are always lots of smiley faces around to make me feel welcome.  I look forward to having a chat before and after the classes.  The instructors are fabulous too and always so encouraging and friendly.

I have a great group of close friends that I also love to socialise with too.  Often, we go for coffee (and sometimes cake!)  after a class on a Saturday morning.  I have been out for meals, been invited to friend’s houses, afternoon teas, drinks, boat rides, theatre trips, and many more social events – too many to list!

I also love how Parish Wharf arranges charity events to raise money and to get members together to have fun, often in fancy dress!

I recently got diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and decided to carry on coming to the gym to exercise.  Endorphins have great feel-good elements and are definitely great for your mind, body and soul.  Every time I came to a class I would get surrounded with friendly faces, hugs and good wishes asking how I was doing and lots of encouragement.  I really do believe that this helped my speedy recovery back to normal.

I am so glad that I chose Parish Wharf – I absolutely love being a member and long may it continue! Thank you


"If someone had said to me ‘you’ll be going to the gym on a regular basis’ a few years ago, I’d have said ‘yeah, right’ but that is exactly what I do with my lovely friend.

It took much courage to walk through the door as I would call myself 'fit' however, we did walk through the door and were been greeted with nothing but friendly, enthusiastic and supportive staff.

We love going to gym twice, sometimes more, every week and every session has been positive. I’d strongly recommend anyone give it a go! 


I have been a part of the Parish Wharf Leisure Centre community for 27 years and counting!

From working with my best friends in the café as a teenager, using the gym and crèche as a young mum and now using the whole facility as a grown up family of five.

I love the plethora of people I meet at each visit and can’t imagine ever going anywhere else!

Angie & Emma 

We joined Parish Wharf in 2017, shortly after we both left the Royal Air Force (RAF) & moved to Portishead. 


Since then, it’s been at the heart of our everyday life. As well as enjoying the fantastic classes & gym virtually every day, we’ve participated in numerous charity events organised by the Centre that have made us feel part of something very special as well as raised money for several worthwhile causes. 


We’ve made so many wonderful new friends through Parish, with whom we regularly socialise outside of the Centre. The staff & fellow members have also been an amazing source of support & encouragement to us both during some pretty major challenges over the past few years. This includes throughout Angie’s Cancer treatment in 2021 & while I was training for my first ever full marathon that I completed earlier this year to raise money for where Angie had her Cancer Treatment in Bristol. (Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre). 


Since leaving the RAF over 7 years ago, it’s thanks to Parish Wharf that we once again feel part of a very strong & special community. We honestly don’t know what we’d have done at times without the truly fabulous Parish Wharf community. 


After being nominated by Parish Wharf’s Fitness Manager, Lizzie Ashley, Emma was awarded a national Places for People Community Matters Award for the various contributions she has made to promoting & supporting the Parish Wharf community. Here she is with Angie after receiving her award on 6th October 2023. 

Lizzie & Damian 

I have been coming to Parish Wharf Leisure Centre for around 9 years. I have always found it friendly and not intimidating at all.

I love that here is a range of different people of all ages. I mainly do classes, one of which being Les Mills Body Attack which I have done ever since joining and I love it. Last year in the summer it became even better when I started talking to my now amazing boyfriend Damian.

We hit it off straight away and have been together ever since,  we still go to body attack together twice a week and other classes too. We both chat to lots of people at the gym and find everyone and the staff very friendly. Thank you Parish Wharf and Body Attack for bringing me and Damian together.

Niki & Chris​

My life took an unprecedented turn in February 2022. My whole world could have come crashing down on the that Saturday morning in question…my family unit was going to change forever with news I had just received.

However, I took myself off to spin with Liz – because I knew I could either cry, laugh, jump on the spin bike, and work harder than ever before. I knew that I would be welcomed, hugged and made to feel special with my spin family. I didn’t share my news at that point. I popped my stuff down next to the bike, cried without being seen, wiped away the tears, and jumped on the bike ready for Liz to smash out some banging tunes!

Parish Wharf Leisure Centre is my safe place, my spin family, my kettle bell family, my power and rig circuits family. I love how I know I will bump into someone I know. I love the staff on reception, and the instructors are all just incredible. The giggles we have, the daft conversations we have.

My best buddies go to the classes I attend too, and I have made so many new friends.

My happy ending is I now bring my lovely (new-ish) fella to the spin classes – he is always happy to go 😊 The Parish Wharf community is incredible…and I am exceptionally grateful for having this in my life.


I am fortunate to have made lots of friends through attending classes at Parish Wharf Leisure Centre over the years. I am quite shy and introverted and I don’t find it easy to talk to strangers. Luckily, there are plenty of other friendly people around who have been kind enough to talk to me in spite of my social awkwardness.

There is a wonderful mix of ages and personalities which makes the centre very supportive and welcoming. My fitness level is good now, - thanks to the excellent instructors who also contribute to the inclusive and vibrant culture at the centre - however, I wasn’t fit when I first joined! It has always been important to me to exercise in a place where your ability doesn’t define your sense of belonging. In particular James, Ruth and Andy all took me under their wing when I was new to body pump and totally lost with all the weights and equipment.

Community at Parish Wharf means all you have to do is show up, and someone will always be there. If you keep showing up, you might find yourself part of an ever expanding gym family that I’d now be lost without.

If you're feeling as inspired as we are, and you'd love to become a part of our community, join online today and save 10% using code 10OFF!

To share your #onecommunity story please email us.