Category Archives for Blog Post

New PoolPod at Ramsgate Leisure Centre Offers a dignified and accessible way for people to enter the swimming pool

Your Leisure senior managers, board members and community managers along with TDC Councillors and the Mayor of Ramsgate attended Ramsgate Leisure Centre on Tuesday 14 January to officially launch the centre's brand-new PoolPod.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Rick Everitt, Deputy Leader, Councillor Helen Whitehead and Mayor of Ramsgate, Councillor Raushan Ara along joined the team from Your Leisure to mark the occasion as PoolPod represents a significant progression in providing improved accessibility to swimming. 

PoolPod is a submersible lift designed to provide dignified and independent access to the water for swimmers. Thanks to funding by the London Marathon Trust and Swim England, Ramsgate Leisure Centre aims to create an inclusive swimming environment for people with long-term health conditions, disabilities and rehabilitation needs. 

Your Leisure was able to install the PoolPod thanks to a successful funding application to Swim England and The London Marathon Trust. Due to the organisation's registered society (under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 with charitable status, Swim England and The London Marathon Trust approved the application making Ramsgate Leisure Centre one of only 20 pools in the country to provide PoolPod facilities to its members and customers. 

Ian Barker, Your Leisure’s Community and Funding Manager, said: “we are so proud to have this amazing, free to use addition to our centre. We already have had significant interest from like-minded organisations who are keen to refer their clients into the centre to use the PoolPod and therefore improve their wellbeing through swimming.” 

The PoolPod is free to use and open to anyone, for more information please contact Ramsgate Leisure Centre on 01843 585111, or click HERE to go to the Ramsgate Leisure Centre “swimming page,” or email ian.barker@yourleisure.uk.com for a free swimming voucher to try out the PoolPod.”

Local Charities Benefit from Green Initiative

Margate Winter Gardens and Your Leisure are pleased to announce that following on from our decision to remove the regular Christmas crackers from 2019's Winter Wonderland nights - which contain non-recyclable plastic products - we have been able to start to make our donations to our chosen charities. Karen Kenward from Pilgrims Hospices popped in this week to collect their cheque.

Max Rennie, Bars and Services Manager, said: "It's a great feeling to be able to donate to good causes while you know you're having a positive impact on the environment. The feedback we received off the back of this decision was positive, our wonderful guests appreciated the need to think about waste and also how local businesses going green can help support local charities."

This donation was made possible due to the ethical decisions made prior to Christmas. Inspired by the successful launch of the single-use plastic elimination project at other Your Leisure operated facilities, the team at Margate Winter Gardens are on a mission to make their venue greener for the new decade; which started with the removal of “wasteful” Christmas crackers at this year’s Winter Wonderland festive banqueting nights. Instead, the money usually spent on crackers will be donated to local charities, spreading goodwill to local communities.

Each year it is estimated that Christmas crackers account for up to 154 million pieces of plastic that end up in UK landfills and potentially our oceans causing harm to British wildlife and ecosystems.

Lynne Boyd, Deputy Hospitality & Entertainment Manager at Margate Winter Gardens said: “One of the most wonderful things about the venue is the sweeping sea views. Looking out upon a Turner seascape every day, we wanted to make sure that as a coastal venue we are doing everything we can to protect our seas. This is the start of us phasing out all single-use plastic items, and products that contain single-use plastics which can end up in our waters. In 2020, we’re looking to invest in eco-friendly alternatives. Winter Wonderland is a fabulous run of dinners and welcomes thousands of guests but over previous years, our teams have thrown away far too much non-recyclable plastic from these wasteful crackers and it’s time and we’re looking at procuring genuinely environmentally friendly alternatives for the future.”

The money saved this year by not purchasing thousands of Christmas crackers is now being donated to local charities.

Throughout 2020, Your Leisure will be focusing on not only looking in at itself to improve its environmental footprint but also placing a focus on education. The Kent-based Leisure operator hopes to lead the way; educating staff and members of the local community on how to reduce their ecological footprint while enjoying life and having fun.

PoolPod Has Landed at Ramsgate Leisure Centre

Thanks to funding by the London Marathon Trust and Swim England, Ramsgate Leisure Centre aims to create an inclusive swimming environment for people with long-term health conditions, disabilities and rehabilitation needs. 

PoolPod is a submersible lift designed to provide dignified and independent access to the water for swimmers. 

PoolPod makes getting in and out of the pool safer, simpler, quicker and more dignified than using the steps. Many different people can use the PoolPod, including people living with disabilities, living with long term health conditions, reduced mobility, customers with children, pregnant women, not to mention the PoolPod is free to use.

Our fantastic team at Ramsgate are really excited to share this amazing opportunity with you and help even more people enjoy swimming and improve their wellbeing, who perhaps felt they couldn’t before.

“We know that people who benefit most from aquatic activity – including disabled people, people with long-term health conditions, older people, people with mobility issues and pregnant women – often face the biggest barriers to accessing a swimming pool.  This exciting initiative is making swimming pools across the UK more accessible and ensuring a more inclusive customer experience for all.” - Sir Rodney Walker, Chair of The London Marathon Charitable Trust

Fitness Journey for Brave Fundraiser

New Discovery Park Gym member, Melissa St George, will be taking a huge leap for charity on Saturday 9 May as she abseils down the side of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower to raise money and awareness for SSAFA: The Armed Forces Charity.

Standing 557ft tall, Spinnaker Tower dominates the skyline of the Naval city. The tower is a popular destination for thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline rush as they descend 100 metres down the side of the landmark. To prepare for the biggest challenge of her life, Melissa has set off on a 6-month mission to improve her physical fitness using the revolutionary BioCircuitTM at Discovery Park Gym.   

Melissa St George said: “I wanted to make a difference and support the UK’s oldest tri-military charity, the work they do is truly inspiring, and I also wanted to challenge myself in the process. I knew the Spinnaker Tower abseil would push me to my limits, so I needed support to improve my strength and fitness and that’s why I joined Your Leisure’s Discovery Park Gym to use the new BioCircuitTM.”

BioCircuitTM prescribes a personalised 30-minute full-body workout programme designed for the individual, increasing in intensity as their fitness levels improve. Melissa continued, “I was not a gym user and would consider myself very unfit. What attracted me to BioCircuitTM was the personalised 30-minute workout programme that I could easily fit into my working day and, thankfully, start off gently to ease me into my training regime.”

Melissa’s abseil takes place during the ‘Spinnaker SuperCars in Aid of SSAFA’ event on Saturday 9 May. SSAFA exists to relieve need, suffering and distress amongst the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in order to support their independence and dignity. SSAFA offers a wide range of support, from helping elderly veterans with mobility scooters, to providing things like accessible bathrooms & kitchens if needed, mental wellbeing, even helping those in the armed forces to adopt children or arranging family holidays.

If you would like to sponsor Melissa and help support SSAFA, you can visit the Just Giving page using the link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/spinnakersupercars and reference Melissa St George when prompted.

You’ll be able to follow Melissa’s story via the Discovery Park Gym Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DiscoveryParkGym

‘Single-Use Plastic Elimination’ Project a Success

Inspired by the BBC’s Blue Planet 2, the Indoor Leisure Manager at Your Leisure, Gavid Vickers, set out on a mission to purge ‘single-use’ plastics from its centres, replacing the plastic items with compostable alternatives. Several months into the project, over 12,000 plastic straws have been eliminated from its catering operation in a bid to lessen its impact on the environment, and the company is well on its way to also removing over 100,000 other single-use pieces of plastic.

Gavid Vickers, Indoor Leisure Manager, who founded the project stated: “Blue Planet 2 was a catalyst for change. Following the airing of the Plastic Pollution episode, I set out to remove all single-use plastics from the leisure operation; with plastic straws being the first to be banned across the sites. As a business, we have a ‘do it now’ ethos, not waiting any longer to make the changes needed today.”

However, the anti-plastic project didn’t stop there. Gavid used the straws as an initial step to launch a company-wide environmental mission ‘to zero’ throughout its leisure operations.

Warren Reeves, Your Leisure Operations Manager, said, “After Gavid’s successful purge on plastic straws, it was important for the business to get behind his charge and assess its impact on the environment. Buoyed by the positive feedback from our members and local communities, Gavid is now leading the way and has expanded the scope of the project to remove a target of 100,000 items of single-use plastic products from the operation and replace them with sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives. The company provides leisure services in multiple sea-side towns, so it’s vital we do our best to protect the coast for future generations and wildlife.”

Going forward, Your Leisure’s focus is not only looking in at itself to improve its environmental footprint but also placing a focus on education. The Kent-based Leisure operator hopes to lead the way; educating staff and members of the local community on how to reduce their ecological footprint while enjoying life and having fun.

A Win For Team DITC

Congratulations are in order! Deal Indoor Tennis Manager, Vanessa Webb, has been awarded 'Honorary County Colours' from the Kent Lawn Tennis Association at their AGM.

Vanessa received this accolade for her significant contribution to Kent Tennis since taking a seat on the Kent LTA council in 2003. Vanessa is nearing the end of her 4-year term as Kent Deputy and President. She will remain on the council and continue with her roles as EK Representative to EK Clubs as well as being the Mixed League Organiser for the Kent LTA Inter-Club League. She also sits on the communications board as the County Press Officer and is on the Awards Panel.

Margate Winter Gardens Dreaming of a Greener Christmas

The team at Margate Winter Gardens are on a mission to make their venue greener for the new decade; starting with the removal of “wasteful” Christmas crackers at this year’s Winter Wonderland nights.

The money saved this year by not purchasing Christmas crackers will instead be donated to two wonderful charities who support Thanet’s communities; Speak Up CIC and Pilgrims Hospices.

Each year it is estimated that Christmas crackers account for up to 154 million pieces of plastic that end up in UK landfills and potentially our oceans causing harm to British wildlife and ecosystems.

Lynne Boyd, Deputy Hospitality & Entertainments Manager at Margate Winter Gardens said: “One of the most wonderful things about the venue is the sweeping sea view. We wanted to make sure that as a coastal venue we are doing everything we can to protect our seas. This is the start of us phasing out all single-use plastic items, and products that contain single-use plastics which can end up in our waters. Winter Wonderland is a fabulous run of dinners but our teams have thrown away far too much non-recyclable plastic from these wasteful crackers and it’s time to make a change. We’re looking at procuring genuinely environmentally friendly alternatives for the future.”

Primary School Children Experience the Fun of Panto

Thanks to a combined generous grant by KCC Thanet Councillors Barry Lewis (Margate Labour) & Karen Constantine (Ramsgate Labour), and subsidy by Your Leisure, over 200 primary school children who wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity, came to the Theatre Royal this week to see this year’s Panto 'Aladdin'.

Lucky children from Dame Janet Primary Academy & St Anthony’s School saw the show in the last days of the school term & like the 2000 other schoolchildren who are coming to see “Aladdin” this year, they cheered, booed, sang along & had the most wonderful time!

Pam Hardiman, Programme Manager said “This year’s panto is our biggest & best ever! We’re delighted to be working again with the Wicked Productions team, who have pulled out all the stops to bring another top-quality traditional pantomime to our beautiful theatre. The performers are all stars of course, but I’d like to give credit to all the backstage heroes & front of house volunteers who have worked tirelessly throughout the Christmas season. To bring children to see the show, who wouldn’t otherwise have managed it, is the cherry on the cake for us all.”

Pic: KCC Cllr Barry Lewis & 'Aladdin' cast

Total Gym Re-fit for Hartsdown Leisure Centre

Yes, it’s open and your feedback about our fresh look gym equipment has been fabulous.

 

You are telling us you are delighted with all our wonderful brand-new Technogym work out equipment.

With 20 new Group Cycles and equipment to strengthen and work every muscle in your body, there is no longer any excuse not to get in shape at Hartsdown Leisure Centre.

Our new equipment is ideal of all user levels and includes a comprehensive range of cardio and strength equipment covering upper, lower and total body routines, ensuring exceptional training comfort along the way.

And if you are not sure how to operate our new training aids, our friendly and trained team are on hand to give advice and training tips too.

We are proud of our new gym and if you haven’t already taken a look, we hope you will be too.

Whatever your ability or previous experience, now is the time to visit our beautiful new gym and test it out for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

Your Leisure Goes Social

We are loving talking to you guys!

It’s so great to hear all your fun news and your ideas. That’s why we’re so excited to have made it even easier for you to talk to us.

Social Media is AMAZING!

Social is where you make us blush with your lovely reviews and, sometimes, let us know where we fall short – Either way we love the feedback. It helps us help you ‘Enjoy Life and Have Fun’!

So, we’ve massively improved our focus on social media customer care. 🙌

Your Leisure has long recognised social media is how you want to talk to us, but until recently, because of technology restraints, all our customer service communication on line has been handled at our Head Office. We agree it has been far from satisfactory. There has been a massive need to empower all our centres with their own access to this ever more popular form of communication.

Whilst all older mediums of communication are still very relevant, so now, just as important is social media.  So, over several months, a dedicated team has been experimenting with various platforms, testing their effectiveness for use in all our centres. The idea has been to give back control of customer service to each centre, so we can meet you, our customers, at the place of your choosing, be that on the phone, by letter, email or social media.

It’s taken time, but over the last few weeks we have been rolling out to the Leisure Centres a platform called Hootsuite.

Hootsuite makes it possible to monitor and be proactive with different social media platforms all in one place; for our purposes, we are concentrating on Facebook and Twitter.

Hootsuite has already been rolled out to Hartsdown, Tides and Dover and the feedback from customers and staff has been fantastic!

The benefits this brings are many.  It means that each centre can now once again control their own customer enquiries from any medium a customer wishes to approach them. They can do it, using local knowledge and so deliver a positive solution to the customer. It’s a win win for everyone.

Over the next couple of weeks the Hootsuite roll out will be completed with the addition of Ramsgate Leisure Centre and our Theatre Box office going live on the system too.

Using Hootsuite is our latest step to improve on the delivery of our expectation to excel in customer care.

 

 

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