The Abbotshall Healthy Lifestyle Centre is a centre in Catford, Lewisham that is designed to improve lives through physical activity and healthy living and works to promote a beneficial diet and good exercise for everybody in the community, something that is particuarly important in urban areas such as London.

The centre is open seven days a week and operates many different exercise classes, such as zumba, yoga, pilates, and a fitness bootcamp. All of the activities on offer are open for everyone to attend and are made available at a low and affordable price. Additionally, its large playing field is the training ground to youth football clubs Lewisham Tigers and Carpe Diem FC, encouraging young people to be active and keep fit.

The Abbotshall Healthy Lifestyle Centre also hosts a community garden which is ran by volunteers who grow fresh produce which is then used in the centre’s cafe. This means that healthy, sustainable food, for example soup, is on regularly on offer, encouraging local people to cut back on an unhealthy diet.

The Abbotshall Healthy Lifestyle Centre is located on the Corbett Estate, an estate that spans Hither Green and Catford that was built by the house builder, philanthropist and MP Archibald Cameron Corbett in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much like the centre, Corbett was driven by a desire to improve the lives of people of all classes rather than the prospect of wealth. He strived to create a community with an emphasis on healthy living, and built houses on wide streets with just eleven houses per acre of land, contrasting to the usual dense rates of London housing in the Victorian era which was around thirty houses per acre and was commonly associated with disease, crime and squalor. Gardens on the estate are spacious, which is uncommon for the era they were built in, and all included fruit trees to promote a healthy diet, and where possible, streets were orientated north to south to maximise sunlight in gardens, encouraging families to spend time outside. In addition, Corbett believed in temperance so no alcohol was sold on the estate.

The Abbotshall Healthy Lifestyle Centre passionately improves the quality of local lives with the great extent of activities that it offers. Tascha Clarkson, the director of the centre, said that “It’s never been about making money, it’s always been about providing for the community.” Archibald Corbett’s clear intentions and goals of promoting a healthy lifestyle for everyone regardless of class or background mirrors those of the Abbotshall Healthy Lifestyle Centre, in which his legacy lives on over a century later.