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British Military Fitness
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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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Brrrn – the world’s first "cool temperature fitness experience" – is launching into the at-home ...
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Virtuagym has launched Stronger Together, an all-in-one, hybrid membership solution. The new service offers operators ...
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Rainer Schaller, the founder of budget gym megabrand McFIT, has added iconic franchised chain Gold's ...
Latest News
A set of posters created by a fitness studio manager, mimicking the government's COVID-19 NHS ...
Latest News
In a boost to the gym and physical activity sector, the UK's deputy chief medical ...
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Publicly listed operator, The Gym Group (TGG) says it has retained 80 per cent of ...
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PureGym's operations in Europe have helped the business through the UK lockdown, according to CEO ...
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Featured supplier: EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Fisikal chosen as tech partner for ‘JP4’; new health app from fitness expert, Jessie Pavelka
Fitness expert and television host, Jessie Pavelka has collaborated with Fisikal, experts in digital management solutions, to create the new JP4 app, a premium 12-week personal health and fitness transformation programme that takes the user on a journey of change through four key elements of health.
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
At Matrix Fitness, our goal is to make innovative commercial fitness equipment that stands out ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness
A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
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Sothys: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
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Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
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REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
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Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
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