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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Interview: Andrew Snelling

Health and medical insurer Westfield Health and SIV have launched a collaborative new health club membership scheme that offers ‘transformational’ mental health support. Both CEOs speak to Kate Cracknell

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 10
Andrew Snelling
Andrew Snelling
Anyone signing up for this new membership package will benefit from a range of mental wellbeing solutions as well as unlimited gym access

SIV recently launched a new mental health membership scheme in partnership with Westfield Health. Why?
SIV is the not-for-profit trading arm of Sheffield City Trust, which is a health and wellbeing charity. As such, we have a wide remit: we’re focused on the holistic wellbeing of the people of Sheffield.

Mental health is something that’s relevant to everyone. It isn’t age-related. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. And there’s increased awareness of this among the public. It’s therefore only right that we reflect this in our offering; we need to provide services that are important to the people we serve.

It’s also something we’re in a good position to offer – we’ve long recognised the link between physical fitness and mental wellbeing, so this is an area we’ve been interested in for a while.

How does the partnership work?
Essentially, both SIV and Westfield Health continue to do what we’ve always done – providing our own products – but customers benefit because they can now access additional services at no extra cost.

SIV has always offered a range of different membership packages under its Fitness Unlimited brand, and our new partnership with Westfield Health has allowed us to add another option: an ‘Access All Areas’ gym membership, priced between £26.60 and £38 a month.

Anyone signing up to ‘Access All Areas’ will benefit from a range of health and mental wellbeing solutions through Westfield Health’s ‘Healthy Extras’ scheme. That includes free telephone counselling, 24/7 access to a GP over the phone, and membership of Big White Wall – an online mental health and wellbeing service that offers self-help programmes, creative outlets and online therapy any time, anywhere.

‘Access All Areas’ members also enjoy unlimited access to the gym, swimming, fitness classes and spa facilities at seven SIV venues across the city: EIS Sheffield, Concord Sports Centre, Ponds Forge, Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Springs Leisure Centre, Westfield Sports Centre and Heeley Gym and Pool.

The partnership also offers members access to Westfield Rewards: exclusive deals and money-off discounts at 700 high street and online retailers which is part of Westfield’s range of services.

Why was Westfield Health chosen as the partner?
Westfield Health is a national organisation with headquarters in Sheffield, so it’s very well-known in the local area. It’s also trusted – it will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019.

In addition, SIV has always maintained close links with Westfield Health – we’ve been talking for some time about collaborations and felt we could work well together – so when they approached us with this suggestion, we were keen to take a closer look at the possibilities.

Crucially, Westfield Health also provides the specialist services, expertise and benefits for this mental health product that we can’t offer.

We’ve been working with them on this partnership since autumn 2017.

Did SIV staff receive training to help them speak knowledgeably about the new scheme?
As part of our ongoing staff training programme, we brought in our partners from Westfield Health to speak about what they would be offering our members. However, it’s important to remember that we’re specialists in our area and Westfield Health are specialists in theirs: with a subject as important as this, it’s only right it’s delivered by experts.

When did the scheme launch, and with what success so far?
The scheme launched in July, so it’s still early days, but we’ve been very encouraged by the take-up and interest from customers, both new and existing. The summer is traditionally a quiet time for sign-ups, so we’ll get a better picture as we get further into the year.

We launched the partnership with a three-month trial, but we intend to continue it, and there’s no maximum capacity – the new membership will be available to as many people as want it.

How does this project fit within the overall SIV strategy for health and wellbeing in Sheffield?
Three years ago, we revised our operation as Sheffield City Trust – the health and wellbeing charity – so we’ve been committed to a holistic approach for the people of Sheffield for some time, with a remit that goes far beyond the leisure facilities provided within our venues. For example, we work with a number of agencies across the city, from community groups and schools to Age UK Sheffield.

Meanwhile, in the last year, 1,224 individuals were referred to the SIV Referral Scheme by a GP or medical professional, with most of those people considered inactive prior to referral.

Referrals come from across the city – from more than 80 GP practices – as well as from NHS rehabilitation programmes, mental health services and community-based health trainers.

There have been other initiatives too. For example, to tackle obesity in the city, we introduced a 20p charge on drinks with added sugar sold at cafés and vending machines in SIV leisure facilities.

This initiative has raised more than £30,000 to date, with every penny reinvested in obesity and diabetes prevention programmes for young people.

Is this something more operators could, and should, be doing?
This initiative is perfect for our organisation, but that doesn’t mean it will suit all operators. We have a commitment to the health and wellbeing of everyone in Sheffield; private operators will have different priorities.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the payback for us isn’t financial. This partnership with Westfield Health epitomises what we’re all about: it’s our culture and ethos to provide a holistic service for our customers.

If mental health is so important, will you place more focus on it in all your memberships?
We need to be as flexible as we can be to support our customers’ needs, so some packages will include support for mental health, but not all. The days of the one size fits all scheme have long gone.

What advice would you offer other operators?
If you want to launch a scheme like this, the advice is quite simply: get it right. Mental health is too important a subject to fudge the provision of services in any way or to treat as a marketing tool.

The main challenge is finding the right partner – one that has the skillsets you need to make the scheme work, and that can deliver an expert service. Choose them carefully and don’t do anything that isn’t 100 per cent credible.

David Capper, CEO, Westfield Health

David Capper
David Capper

What is Westfield Health?
Founded in 1919, Westfield Health is a not-for-profit health and wellbeing provider with a very simple philosophy: it’s dedicated to helping people improve their quality of life – living well, working well and achieving more – by empowering them to be healthier and happier.

Our strategic partnerships with world-leading organisations allow us to create evidence-based health and wellbeing programmes that support both physical and emotional wellbeing, from eating well and moving more to sleeping better, thinking clearly and staying healthy.

From health cover to wellbeing workshops, health and lifestyle assessments to online tools, our services deliver sustainable behavioural change that makes a real difference to people’s lives.

What’s the scale of the business?
Today, we support over 8,000 businesses and almost 400,000 customers, with a consultative approach that puts their ever-changing needs first.

We invest any profit we make back into our products and services to make them better for our customers, and we also invest in our Charitable Trust, which has a long history of supporting people, communities and charities through donations. Since 1996, we’ve donated more than £15m to the NHS and health- and wellbeing-related charities.

Tell us about your new partnership with SIV
Emotional and mental wellbeing is fundamental to everything we do as individuals, but as a nation, we have a real issue around mental health. The NHS is routinely oversubscribed, while the private facilities which are offered by corporate employee assistance programmes are often underutilised.

We want to alleviate some of the pressure on GPs and the NHS by giving people the opportunity to get help from an alternative professional source, more quickly. It’s about making mental health support more accessible.

Big White Wall is described by NICE as a tool that’s designed for the pre-contemplation phase of mental health. Mental health support is available on the NHS, but by the time people see their GP, they’re already a long way down the road and talk therapy is often needed. We want people to access the services as soon as they notice a change in themselves, not when they’ve waited until they hit rock bottom.

This is why we’re looking to add the service into gym membership, to support people sooner on their journey to recovery. We felt that providing these services through a gym membership – something people pay for personally – might help them access the mental health support they need easily and quickly.

Not only that, but research shows physical activity has a positive impact on mental health: adults participating in daily physical activity have approximately a 20–30 per cent lower risk of both depression and dementia.

We believe prevention is better than cure, and as only 4 per cent of the NHS budget is spent on prevention.

Giving people the opportunity to stay healthy and happy before they become ill is crucial. That’s why I’m so proud to be offering our services through this partnership with SIV.

There have been challenges getting healthcare professionals to collaborate with health clubs. Is this changing?
I think attitudes have definitely changed over the years, with medical and healthcare professionals seeing the value in the facilities provided by health clubs.

At Westfield Health, we have our own fitness suite for staff and we also hold free weekly exercise classes. We actively encourage our employees to move more during the working day to avoid the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.

Medical and exercise professionals have described exercise as a ‘magic pill’ for some illnesses, and while our partnership with SIV is unique, I’d like to see more of these schemes evolving to support our nation’s health across the country.

What do you hope to achieve with this scheme?
In the short term, we want to continue to break down the barriers to accessing mental health support, while giving SIV an affordable added-value service to help it attract more members to its facilities.

In the longer term, we would love this concept to become the norm in this industry, helping all facilities look after both physical and emotional wellbeing.

We already have a wide range of health and wellbeing initiatives available, from educational workshops – on topics such as resilience, sleep and energy – to health screenings and health cover. We’re open to discussions on building new concepts alongside a gym chain to help complement its current offering.

And ultimately, we believe our four services – telephone counselling, 24/7 phone-based access to a GP, Big White Wall and benefits scheme – will make a fantastic retention tool. Our average user saves over £300 a year using our rewards platform, which helps make fitness and mental health support affordable to all.

What else do you do?
We sponsor Sheffield Hallam’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), one of the most advanced research centres for activity in the world.

The AWRC create innovations that improve the health of the nation, tackle key issues such as static levels of activity, rising obesity and mental health problems.

From spring 2019, it will also host indoor and outdoor facilities for 70 researchers to carry out research on health and physical activity, in collaboration with the private sector.

This partnership gives our programmes an academic stamp of approval.

"Our average user saves over £300 a year using our rewards platform, which helps make fitness and mental health support affordable to all"

Westfield Health has a big focus on prevention
Westfield Health has a big focus on prevention
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness / shutterstock
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness / shutterstock
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
SIV runs all the health and fitness and sports facilities in Sheffield on behalf of the council
SIV runs all the health and fitness and sports facilities in Sheffield on behalf of the council
SIV runs all the health and fitness and sports facilities in Sheffield on behalf of the council
SIV runs all the health and fitness and sports facilities in Sheffield on behalf of the council
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/87616_891417.png
SIV, the charity which runs activity in Sheffield, has created a fitness membership category which includes mental health support. We talk to the CEO and also SIV delivery partner, Westfield Health
Andrew Snelling, CEO, SIV David Capper, CEO, Westfield Health,Andrew Snelling, SIV, David Capper, Westfield Health, mental health
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features

Interview: Andrew Snelling

Health and medical insurer Westfield Health and SIV have launched a collaborative new health club membership scheme that offers ‘transformational’ mental health support. Both CEOs speak to Kate Cracknell

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 10
Andrew Snelling
Andrew Snelling
Anyone signing up for this new membership package will benefit from a range of mental wellbeing solutions as well as unlimited gym access

SIV recently launched a new mental health membership scheme in partnership with Westfield Health. Why?
SIV is the not-for-profit trading arm of Sheffield City Trust, which is a health and wellbeing charity. As such, we have a wide remit: we’re focused on the holistic wellbeing of the people of Sheffield.

Mental health is something that’s relevant to everyone. It isn’t age-related. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. And there’s increased awareness of this among the public. It’s therefore only right that we reflect this in our offering; we need to provide services that are important to the people we serve.

It’s also something we’re in a good position to offer – we’ve long recognised the link between physical fitness and mental wellbeing, so this is an area we’ve been interested in for a while.

How does the partnership work?
Essentially, both SIV and Westfield Health continue to do what we’ve always done – providing our own products – but customers benefit because they can now access additional services at no extra cost.

SIV has always offered a range of different membership packages under its Fitness Unlimited brand, and our new partnership with Westfield Health has allowed us to add another option: an ‘Access All Areas’ gym membership, priced between £26.60 and £38 a month.

Anyone signing up to ‘Access All Areas’ will benefit from a range of health and mental wellbeing solutions through Westfield Health’s ‘Healthy Extras’ scheme. That includes free telephone counselling, 24/7 access to a GP over the phone, and membership of Big White Wall – an online mental health and wellbeing service that offers self-help programmes, creative outlets and online therapy any time, anywhere.

‘Access All Areas’ members also enjoy unlimited access to the gym, swimming, fitness classes and spa facilities at seven SIV venues across the city: EIS Sheffield, Concord Sports Centre, Ponds Forge, Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Springs Leisure Centre, Westfield Sports Centre and Heeley Gym and Pool.

The partnership also offers members access to Westfield Rewards: exclusive deals and money-off discounts at 700 high street and online retailers which is part of Westfield’s range of services.

Why was Westfield Health chosen as the partner?
Westfield Health is a national organisation with headquarters in Sheffield, so it’s very well-known in the local area. It’s also trusted – it will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019.

In addition, SIV has always maintained close links with Westfield Health – we’ve been talking for some time about collaborations and felt we could work well together – so when they approached us with this suggestion, we were keen to take a closer look at the possibilities.

Crucially, Westfield Health also provides the specialist services, expertise and benefits for this mental health product that we can’t offer.

We’ve been working with them on this partnership since autumn 2017.

Did SIV staff receive training to help them speak knowledgeably about the new scheme?
As part of our ongoing staff training programme, we brought in our partners from Westfield Health to speak about what they would be offering our members. However, it’s important to remember that we’re specialists in our area and Westfield Health are specialists in theirs: with a subject as important as this, it’s only right it’s delivered by experts.

When did the scheme launch, and with what success so far?
The scheme launched in July, so it’s still early days, but we’ve been very encouraged by the take-up and interest from customers, both new and existing. The summer is traditionally a quiet time for sign-ups, so we’ll get a better picture as we get further into the year.

We launched the partnership with a three-month trial, but we intend to continue it, and there’s no maximum capacity – the new membership will be available to as many people as want it.

How does this project fit within the overall SIV strategy for health and wellbeing in Sheffield?
Three years ago, we revised our operation as Sheffield City Trust – the health and wellbeing charity – so we’ve been committed to a holistic approach for the people of Sheffield for some time, with a remit that goes far beyond the leisure facilities provided within our venues. For example, we work with a number of agencies across the city, from community groups and schools to Age UK Sheffield.

Meanwhile, in the last year, 1,224 individuals were referred to the SIV Referral Scheme by a GP or medical professional, with most of those people considered inactive prior to referral.

Referrals come from across the city – from more than 80 GP practices – as well as from NHS rehabilitation programmes, mental health services and community-based health trainers.

There have been other initiatives too. For example, to tackle obesity in the city, we introduced a 20p charge on drinks with added sugar sold at cafés and vending machines in SIV leisure facilities.

This initiative has raised more than £30,000 to date, with every penny reinvested in obesity and diabetes prevention programmes for young people.

Is this something more operators could, and should, be doing?
This initiative is perfect for our organisation, but that doesn’t mean it will suit all operators. We have a commitment to the health and wellbeing of everyone in Sheffield; private operators will have different priorities.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the payback for us isn’t financial. This partnership with Westfield Health epitomises what we’re all about: it’s our culture and ethos to provide a holistic service for our customers.

If mental health is so important, will you place more focus on it in all your memberships?
We need to be as flexible as we can be to support our customers’ needs, so some packages will include support for mental health, but not all. The days of the one size fits all scheme have long gone.

What advice would you offer other operators?
If you want to launch a scheme like this, the advice is quite simply: get it right. Mental health is too important a subject to fudge the provision of services in any way or to treat as a marketing tool.

The main challenge is finding the right partner – one that has the skillsets you need to make the scheme work, and that can deliver an expert service. Choose them carefully and don’t do anything that isn’t 100 per cent credible.

David Capper, CEO, Westfield Health

David Capper
David Capper

What is Westfield Health?
Founded in 1919, Westfield Health is a not-for-profit health and wellbeing provider with a very simple philosophy: it’s dedicated to helping people improve their quality of life – living well, working well and achieving more – by empowering them to be healthier and happier.

Our strategic partnerships with world-leading organisations allow us to create evidence-based health and wellbeing programmes that support both physical and emotional wellbeing, from eating well and moving more to sleeping better, thinking clearly and staying healthy.

From health cover to wellbeing workshops, health and lifestyle assessments to online tools, our services deliver sustainable behavioural change that makes a real difference to people’s lives.

What’s the scale of the business?
Today, we support over 8,000 businesses and almost 400,000 customers, with a consultative approach that puts their ever-changing needs first.

We invest any profit we make back into our products and services to make them better for our customers, and we also invest in our Charitable Trust, which has a long history of supporting people, communities and charities through donations. Since 1996, we’ve donated more than £15m to the NHS and health- and wellbeing-related charities.

Tell us about your new partnership with SIV
Emotional and mental wellbeing is fundamental to everything we do as individuals, but as a nation, we have a real issue around mental health. The NHS is routinely oversubscribed, while the private facilities which are offered by corporate employee assistance programmes are often underutilised.

We want to alleviate some of the pressure on GPs and the NHS by giving people the opportunity to get help from an alternative professional source, more quickly. It’s about making mental health support more accessible.

Big White Wall is described by NICE as a tool that’s designed for the pre-contemplation phase of mental health. Mental health support is available on the NHS, but by the time people see their GP, they’re already a long way down the road and talk therapy is often needed. We want people to access the services as soon as they notice a change in themselves, not when they’ve waited until they hit rock bottom.

This is why we’re looking to add the service into gym membership, to support people sooner on their journey to recovery. We felt that providing these services through a gym membership – something people pay for personally – might help them access the mental health support they need easily and quickly.

Not only that, but research shows physical activity has a positive impact on mental health: adults participating in daily physical activity have approximately a 20–30 per cent lower risk of both depression and dementia.

We believe prevention is better than cure, and as only 4 per cent of the NHS budget is spent on prevention.

Giving people the opportunity to stay healthy and happy before they become ill is crucial. That’s why I’m so proud to be offering our services through this partnership with SIV.

There have been challenges getting healthcare professionals to collaborate with health clubs. Is this changing?
I think attitudes have definitely changed over the years, with medical and healthcare professionals seeing the value in the facilities provided by health clubs.

At Westfield Health, we have our own fitness suite for staff and we also hold free weekly exercise classes. We actively encourage our employees to move more during the working day to avoid the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.

Medical and exercise professionals have described exercise as a ‘magic pill’ for some illnesses, and while our partnership with SIV is unique, I’d like to see more of these schemes evolving to support our nation’s health across the country.

What do you hope to achieve with this scheme?
In the short term, we want to continue to break down the barriers to accessing mental health support, while giving SIV an affordable added-value service to help it attract more members to its facilities.

In the longer term, we would love this concept to become the norm in this industry, helping all facilities look after both physical and emotional wellbeing.

We already have a wide range of health and wellbeing initiatives available, from educational workshops – on topics such as resilience, sleep and energy – to health screenings and health cover. We’re open to discussions on building new concepts alongside a gym chain to help complement its current offering.

And ultimately, we believe our four services – telephone counselling, 24/7 phone-based access to a GP, Big White Wall and benefits scheme – will make a fantastic retention tool. Our average user saves over £300 a year using our rewards platform, which helps make fitness and mental health support affordable to all.

What else do you do?
We sponsor Sheffield Hallam’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), one of the most advanced research centres for activity in the world.

The AWRC create innovations that improve the health of the nation, tackle key issues such as static levels of activity, rising obesity and mental health problems.

From spring 2019, it will also host indoor and outdoor facilities for 70 researchers to carry out research on health and physical activity, in collaboration with the private sector.

This partnership gives our programmes an academic stamp of approval.

"Our average user saves over £300 a year using our rewards platform, which helps make fitness and mental health support affordable to all"

Westfield Health has a big focus on prevention
Westfield Health has a big focus on prevention
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness / shutterstock
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness / shutterstock
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
Members on the new package get unlimited access to gym, spa, swimming and fitness
SIV runs all the health and fitness and sports facilities in Sheffield on behalf of the council
SIV runs all the health and fitness and sports facilities in Sheffield on behalf of the council
SIV runs all the health and fitness and sports facilities in Sheffield on behalf of the council
SIV runs all the health and fitness and sports facilities in Sheffield on behalf of the council
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/87616_891417.png
SIV, the charity which runs activity in Sheffield, has created a fitness membership category which includes mental health support. We talk to the CEO and also SIV delivery partner, Westfield Health
Andrew Snelling, CEO, SIV David Capper, CEO, Westfield Health,Andrew Snelling, SIV, David Capper, Westfield Health, mental health
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F45 has launched a corporate partnership programme which will enable businesses to open an F45 ...
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A two-year research project will look to find ways to transform the UK's physical activity ...
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
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Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
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Featured supplier news: It’s nearly time for Elevate 2022!
It’s now just days to go until your leading trade show for the fitness, physical activity and sports therapy industry kicks off in London!
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Sport Alliance GmbH
Company profiles
Company profile: Excelsior Development Technology
We develop staff that enhance the culture, experience and reputation of your business which in ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Merrithew™ - Leaders in Mindful Movement™
Merrithew™ enriches the lives of others with responsible exercise modalities and innovative, multidisciplinary fitness offerings ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
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Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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