Better Leisure - the customer brand of the UK’s leading leisure social enterprise - GLL - has teamed up with Belfast community based organisation, Active Communities Network, a sport for development charity, to help young people stay active, positive and develop their resilience through sport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The young participants are part of the Leisure Employment Academy, a free skills and qualifications programme run in partnership with Belfast City Council to give local people access to over 100 new jobs in Belfast’s Leisure Centres which are undergoing a £105m investment as part of the City’s Leisure Transformation Programme.
Better's Trainee Managers together with Active Communities Network staff volunteered to deliver personal development sessions via Zoom providing insights into careers in leisure, the importance of setting a good daily routine and how healthy eating and exercise can improve mental wellbeing and confidence.
GLL run all 15 of the Council’s leisure facilities across Belfast under the Better brand and have created 100 jobs.
GLL Regional HR Business Manager, Catherine Sweeney said:
“Through the Leisure Employment Academy, we have been able to fill 70% of our new jobs and we have strengthened our profile in local communities in Belfast. So when COVID-19 happened, we reached out again to ask what we could do to support the community organisations supporting young people at this time.”
Dan Barkley, John Douglas: Active Communities Network, said:
“GLL have been fantastic in their support of our programme providing wonderful opportunities. Their input gives a really strong message to the young people that we are working with that sport and physical well being are good for them. We also commend GLL’s initiative in engaging with our participants so positively. So many have been successful in the Leisure Academies and have gained their National Pool Lifeguard Qualifications and been offered and secured jobs in the Better Leisure Centres.”