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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Jo Smallwoodgeneral manager, Oldham Leisure Centre

We saw the opportunity to initiate new partnerships with the Oldham Foodbank to help local residents during the COVID-19 crisis. We can’t serve our community in the way we would usually do, so we’ve moved resources to help where people need us most

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 5
Smallwood and her team have adapted from running leisure services to supporting the foodbank
Smallwood and her team have adapted from running leisure services to supporting the foodbank
We’re a lifeline for the community during normal times so now, more than ever, they need our support

What’s your background?
I’ve been in leisure in all my working life, as sport and fitness is an essential part of keeping fit and healthy.

I started in 1995 on a youth trainee scheme and have progressed to becoming the General Manager of Oldham Leisure Centre.

We’ve all been forced to adapt due to COVID-19. How have you changed the way you serve the community?
The world is a very different place right now and everyone is affected. Obviously, our centres are all currently closed. But we’re a huge part of the people of Oldham’s lives and we knew, as a leisure trust, we had to continue to help local people who need us most. Initially we donated all the stock from our vending machines to the Oldham Food Bank, but as need has developed, so has the situation – Oldham Leisure Centre is now the local foodbank operations hub.

Alongside our community development and partnership manager, Kelly Tattersall, and foodbank founder, Father Tom Davis, we’ve transformed the sports hall. All deliveries from external businesses come here, our staff and volunteers make up food parcels and we distribute them to local families.

How has the situation evolved?
Initially my team and I just helped to pick up and deliver emergency food parcels, but the need was so huge it soon became apparent the foodbank needed more space and resources. Pre-coronavirus, the Oldham Foodbank supplied about 100 food parcels to families in need per week. Now it’s up to 280 a week, and there are more people going hungry in each family, because people are self-isolating together, so the parcels are much larger. Incomes have plummeted and it’s taking a huge toll.

Who else is involved?
This is a real Oldham approach to COVID-19 – a true partnership to tackle community challenges and ensure emergency essentials are delivered. Voluntary, faith, statutory and private organisations across Oldham have been working together in partnership.

What other plans do you have?
We run services for Oldham’s most vulnerable residents – from newborns to the elderly. We’re a lifeline for the community during normal times, so they need our support now, more than ever.

Our older members and exercise referral clients are especially at risk, they’re self-isolating and many are lonely. We’re their social network; for some we’re the only people they talk to all week.

We’re making regular phone calls, supplying exercise guides to keep people moving at home and just having a chat. We’ve released some online, chair-based exercise videos they can safely follow, too – the internet is awash with online exercise content but none of it is suitable for older or more vulnerable people.

Our Friday Club, which uses physical activity to reduce levels of social isolation within the community, is still taking place via Zoom. Overcoming isolation and loneliness has always been our goal, and in these troubling times it’s even more important to keep connected and to keep active.

Praise from Father Tom Davis
Father Davis founded the foodbank in 2012. He says: “OCL and the volunteers have been absolutely outstanding. Using the centres not only allows us to make sure volunteers can socially distance, but it also gives us the space to pack up what are becoming very large parcels.

When you consider OCL’s staff have gone from things like teaching swimming to making and delivering food parcels; it’s such a team effort. We’ve thrown a diverse mix of people together with a common goal – to care for the vulnerable.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Oldham team has a powerful connection with people in the local community
The Oldham team has a powerful connection with people in the local community
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/816309_423259.jpg
Oldham Leisure Centre has become the local foodbank operations hub during the COVID19 closures. Jo Smallwood, general manager of the centre, tells us more...
Oldham Leisure Centre, Foodbank,COVID-19, foodbank
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features

HCM People: Jo Smallwoodgeneral manager, Oldham Leisure Centre

We saw the opportunity to initiate new partnerships with the Oldham Foodbank to help local residents during the COVID-19 crisis. We can’t serve our community in the way we would usually do, so we’ve moved resources to help where people need us most

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 5
Smallwood and her team have adapted from running leisure services to supporting the foodbank
Smallwood and her team have adapted from running leisure services to supporting the foodbank
We’re a lifeline for the community during normal times so now, more than ever, they need our support

What’s your background?
I’ve been in leisure in all my working life, as sport and fitness is an essential part of keeping fit and healthy.

I started in 1995 on a youth trainee scheme and have progressed to becoming the General Manager of Oldham Leisure Centre.

We’ve all been forced to adapt due to COVID-19. How have you changed the way you serve the community?
The world is a very different place right now and everyone is affected. Obviously, our centres are all currently closed. But we’re a huge part of the people of Oldham’s lives and we knew, as a leisure trust, we had to continue to help local people who need us most. Initially we donated all the stock from our vending machines to the Oldham Food Bank, but as need has developed, so has the situation – Oldham Leisure Centre is now the local foodbank operations hub.

Alongside our community development and partnership manager, Kelly Tattersall, and foodbank founder, Father Tom Davis, we’ve transformed the sports hall. All deliveries from external businesses come here, our staff and volunteers make up food parcels and we distribute them to local families.

How has the situation evolved?
Initially my team and I just helped to pick up and deliver emergency food parcels, but the need was so huge it soon became apparent the foodbank needed more space and resources. Pre-coronavirus, the Oldham Foodbank supplied about 100 food parcels to families in need per week. Now it’s up to 280 a week, and there are more people going hungry in each family, because people are self-isolating together, so the parcels are much larger. Incomes have plummeted and it’s taking a huge toll.

Who else is involved?
This is a real Oldham approach to COVID-19 – a true partnership to tackle community challenges and ensure emergency essentials are delivered. Voluntary, faith, statutory and private organisations across Oldham have been working together in partnership.

What other plans do you have?
We run services for Oldham’s most vulnerable residents – from newborns to the elderly. We’re a lifeline for the community during normal times, so they need our support now, more than ever.

Our older members and exercise referral clients are especially at risk, they’re self-isolating and many are lonely. We’re their social network; for some we’re the only people they talk to all week.

We’re making regular phone calls, supplying exercise guides to keep people moving at home and just having a chat. We’ve released some online, chair-based exercise videos they can safely follow, too – the internet is awash with online exercise content but none of it is suitable for older or more vulnerable people.

Our Friday Club, which uses physical activity to reduce levels of social isolation within the community, is still taking place via Zoom. Overcoming isolation and loneliness has always been our goal, and in these troubling times it’s even more important to keep connected and to keep active.

Praise from Father Tom Davis
Father Davis founded the foodbank in 2012. He says: “OCL and the volunteers have been absolutely outstanding. Using the centres not only allows us to make sure volunteers can socially distance, but it also gives us the space to pack up what are becoming very large parcels.

When you consider OCL’s staff have gone from things like teaching swimming to making and delivering food parcels; it’s such a team effort. We’ve thrown a diverse mix of people together with a common goal – to care for the vulnerable.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Oldham team has a powerful connection with people in the local community
The Oldham team has a powerful connection with people in the local community
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/816309_423259.jpg
Oldham Leisure Centre has become the local foodbank operations hub during the COVID19 closures. Jo Smallwood, general manager of the centre, tells us more...
Oldham Leisure Centre, Foodbank,COVID-19, foodbank
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In-home personal training brand GymGuyz has entered the UK market after selling its first two ...
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A government investment of £1.75bn – to pay 50 per cent of rents across the ...
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Health clubs and gyms in Catalonia have reopened their doors once for a second time, ...
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Health clubs, gyms, indoor pools and leisure centres have reopened in Wales – nearly five ...
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Today (10 August) is the last day for companies to enter the follow-up survey to ...
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promotion
Evidence suggests that over many years personal trainers have been forced to leave the fitness industry because employment patterns are erratic, earnings are inconsistent and it is difficult to build up value needed to secure an appropriate lifestyle.
Opinion: Personal trainers need support as employment opportunities diminish: FREE on-demand webinar
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The rise of the training pod
Belfast based gym equipment manufacturer BLK BOX designs, engineers and fabricates a range of rigs for the most elite, performance-driven organisations globally.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Digital education: TRX trains more than 14,000 professionals for free using live virtual training
In response to the pandemic, TRX, the global leader in functional training equipment, world- class training content, and app-based training technology, transformed its TRX Suspension Training Course into a free, live virtual edition via Zoom.
Video Gallery
THROWDOWN
Core Health & Fitness
Throwdown® creates opportunities to push boundaries by enabling everyone to reach their peak performance. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: BLK BOX
The BLK BOX product range is built for athletes by athletes, includes modular storage systems, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: EMD UK
EMD UK is the national governing body for group exercise. Funded by Sport England, EMD ...
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
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REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
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