As part of the merger of leisure centre operators North Country Leisure (NCL) in early 2017 with GLL, the UK's leading charitable leisure social enterprise, staff and centres that were part of the transfer in Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland where given to opportunity to be recognised at this years GLL Awards Dinner 2017. 

Caroline Smith, GLL North Community Sport Manager based in Kendal was one of 27 members of staff nominated nationally from GLL’s 12,000 employees for the ‘Better People Achieving More and Overall Outstanding Achievements Award’.  Each of GLL’s seven regions received an award and Caroline shone through as the winner for the GLL North Region for her outstanding contribution to sport, leisure and community engagement in the area.

Over the past year, Caroline has generated over £101k of funding for NCL / GLL driven initiatives in South Lakeland’s rural communities.  She has also supported local clubs to resource over £70k of funding from the local Community Sport Partnerships and other local funding providers.  As well as achieving great success in local communities, she has also attracted more people to attend sessions within Kendal and Ulverston leisure centres which GLL operates on behalf of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).  Caroline and the regional team’s key objective is to encourage more people to be more active more often and her close working relationships with SLDC, elected members, sports clubs and strategic health partners including Cancer Care, MIND, Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society has helped to make a significant impact. 

Derek Jones, Partnership Manager for South Lakeland said “Caroline is a huge support her team, community and council partners.  She is a true champion, demonstrating a commitment to achieving GLL’s local community and charity aims.  She is well respected, loyal and hard working but above all, a trusted colleague who all staff love to work with”.

South Lakeland District Council also passed on their congratulations and thanks to Caroline for her hard work in promoting health and fitness in the local community.

Caroline and her team also picked up the ‘Better Lifestyles Award’, for her work co-ordinating the South Lakeland Active Club bid.  This adds to the awards achieved by the team, following their work with Kendal Disability Youth Club in 2016 and winning the National gold award for Satellite Club of the Year at Sport England’s fifth annual Sportivate Awards and annual Satellite Club Awards in October.