Latest
issue
Leaderboard
Innovatise UK Ltd
Innovatise UK Ltd
Innovatise UK Ltd
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn
FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

press release: ukactive

Cross-sector collaboration sees fitness and leisure facilities continue safety improvements with ‘Ask for Angela’ pilot

16 Apr 2024
‘Ask for Angela’ allows people who feel like they are in an unsafe situation to ask staff for help / Shutterstock.com / 4 PM production
ukactive, This Girl Can, Safer Business Network, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor of London have joined forces to launch a pilot of the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign across 11 fitness and leisure centres in south west London.

Lampton Leisure and Anytime Fitness are leading the way by signing up some of their sites for an eight-week pilot of the nationally recognised safety campaign, which has previously demonstrated success in the hospitality sector.

Originally designed for licensed venues, ‘Ask for Angela’ allows people who feel like they are in an unsafe situation to ask staff for help by discreetly using the code word “Angela”.

The ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign aims to help promote safety and wellbeing for anyone who feels vulnerable or who finds themself in an uncomfortable position, and the organisations behind it want to explore its use in other public settings, starting with the fitness and leisure sector.

The pilot builds on recent work from ukactive and This Girl Can as part of ‘Safer Spaces to Move’, a two-year funded project that aims to address sexual harassment and intimidation by supporting more fitness and leisure facilities to improve their services for women and girls.

Launched on 26 February, the pilot will see an external evaluation agency capture the impact and learnings to help determine how well the campaign works in fitness and leisure facilities and whether it is suitable for adoption more widely within the sector.

Staff at each facility, including those on the front desk, gym floor and management, have been provided with a range of training tools to ensure they can best support users if they ask for ‘Angela’.

These tools include a dedicated training handbook and an animated training video that have been developed specifically for the sector, including advice and information on:

• What behaviour might constitute sexual harassment and intimidation in a gym setting and the wider context on the laws which surround this.

• How to respond when a customer ‘Asks for Angela’ and how to support and assist them to ensure they feel, and are, safe.

• When, how and to whom incidences of sexual harassment or intimidation can occur within a gym or leisure setting, as well as when to escalate a matter to senior management.

• How to embed ‘Ask for Angela’ alongside existing policies.

• Each facility has been provided with an ‘Ask for Angela’ communications toolkit including physical and digital posters; assets for digital screens and equipment; social media posts; an email template for member communications; and an email signature for staff to help raise awareness of the campaign.

Research from ukactive and This Girl Can found that four in 10 women surveyed (42%) had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation in their fitness or leisure centre and more than two thirds (68%) never reported it either because they did not know who to report it to or they did not think it was serious enough.

The pilot aims to help ensure all members and visitors feel safe and supported so that if they experience any form of inappropriate behaviour, they feel confident and comfortable reporting it to staff discreetly.

Harriett Jones, Interim Director of Sector Development and Head of Consumer Engagement at ukactive, said: “The fitness and leisure sector is determined to play its part in creating a safer nation, where everyone feels confident and comfortable in our communities.

“The Ask for Angela pilot is another great example of the work underway through the Safer Spaces to Move Project to improve the fitness and leisure environment for all users so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of being physically active in safe and welcoming facilities.

“It’s also part of a wider drive to ensure our sector’s workforce feels supported and equipped to manage any incidences of inappropriate behavior.

“We look forward to working with our members, partners and consumers to understand how this campaign could help drive improvement and what lessons we can take from its application in the hospitality industry.”

Head of Campaign Activation at This Girl Can, Claire Edwards, said: “For some, going to the gym can be an anxious experience. Wearing tight clothing, changing in front of others, entering often heavily male dominated spaces, as well worries about getting active and not being good enough are all too common – often for women and girls. Our research found that safety concerns restrict women’s freedom and comfort in fitness and leisure centres and pose a significant barrier to them enjoying exercise. ‘Ask for Angela’ will reassure women and girls that they can, and should, seek help or report any situation that has left them feeling uncomfortable and that staff will be on hand to help. The campaign has a proven history in the hospitality sector and we’re confident it will be beneficial to the health and fitness industry.”

Gareth Lewis, Director of Operations at Anytime Fitness UK, said: “We’re looking forward to our clubs supporting the leisure sector’s trial of ‘Ask for Angela'’. While gyms and leisure facilities are generally very safe places to be, the presence of ‘Ask for Angela’ provides an extra level of reassurance for visitors that if they were to experience any intimidation or harassment, the facility’s staff are fully trained in how to handle this. We hope that the pilot is a huge success and further builds on the great work that ukactive and our wider sector are doing in breaking down barriers and helping people feel safer and less intimidated when they set foot in a gym or leisure facility.”

Hannah Wadey, CEO, Safer Business Network said: “We are delighted to be one of the leading partner organisations in developing the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign and training adapted for the fitness and leisure sector. Safer Business Network has been instrumental raising awareness of the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign across the licensed trade, and it is fantastic to see other industry sectors now adopting the safety campaign.”

Detective Superintendent Brittany Clarke, Lead Responsible Officer for Violence Against Women and Girls, Metropolitan Police, said: “Gyms and leisure centres are generally safe places where you can keep fit and have fun. However, no one, regardless of gender, should be made to feel threatened or intimidated when working out.

“It’s clear that some people have found it difficult to report instances like this in the past so that’s why we suggested bringing ‘Ask for Angela’ into this environment. We are delighted to be a part of this project and hope it will make a difference to customers.”

Amy Lamé, Night Czar for Mayor of London, said: “The Mayor and I are determined to make London the safest and most welcoming city in the world. We want women, girls and everyone out in London to be safe and to feel safe – whatever time of day and night and whatever they are doing in the capital.

“’Ask for Angela’ is well established across the hospitality sector in London as a vital way of supporting anyone feeling vulnerable or targeted to get quick and discreet help when they need it. I’m thrilled our Women’s Night Safety Charter is supporting this work to get the scheme piloted in the capital’s gym and leisure sector and staff are receiving dedicated training to ensure they’re ready to give the appropriate support to those in need.”
More press releases and updates from ukactive:
ukactive is calling for the Government to tap into growing consumer demand for gyms and leisure centres as it publishes its first Consumer Engagement report, revealing major opportunities to improve health and wellbeing across the UK.
ukactive has announced 30 new appointments to its Member Council groups as it develops its Governance structure to ensure it remains fully representative of the membership.
The office of Andrew Lewer MP has been named the winner of the ‘Fit for Office’ challenge, hosted by ukactive in partnership with Myzone.
A survey of ukactive members has revealed that nearly a quarter (24%) of council areas remain at risk of seeing their leisure centres close or reduce services by September, due to ongoing high energy costs and other operational pressures.
ukactive has announced that National Fitness Day 2024 will take place on Wednesday 18 September, hot on the heels of the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris.
ukactive: news from HCMmag.com and FitTechGlobal.com
Improving physical strength and fitness, mental health and confidence are the main reasons for joining a health club, while cost, time and motivation are the main reasons for leaving.
UK Active has announced details of its annual health and fitness industry awards ceremony, which will take place in Birmingham on the evening of Thursday 3 October at the International Convention Centre.
The first annual Private Sector Benchmarking report was released today (27 March). A collaboration between UK Active and 4Global, the aim of the research is to provide accurate insight into the state of UK-based private sector health clubs.
In a soft power exercise, politicians in the UK have been invited to take part in a challenge which encourages them to be more active, while raising awareness of the benefits of physical activity.
Mike Farrar, chair of UK Active, has called on the UK government to deploy the physical activity sector to support the NHS and tackle the UK’s pandemic of poor health and sluggish economy.
ukactive: featured in HCM and Fit Tech magazines
Life lessons: Huw Edwards
Remember when there was mass hostility about London hosting the 2012 Olympics? Huw Edwards, CEO of UK Active, was there. He talks to Kath Hudson about the lessons he learned
Consumer expectations are rising all the time, but nowhere more than in relation to digital. UK Active’s Dave Gerrish explains how the industry is shaping up
Kath Hudson talks to industry experts from around the world about their key takeaways from last year and their hopes for 2024
Industry insights: Predictions
Time are tough but tough times bring out the best in us. Kath Hudson asks some of the world’s top industry experts where they see the glimpses of blue sky
Life lessons: Dave Courteen
The author, industry veteran, UK Active board member and founder and CEO of Mosaic Spa and Health Clubs talks to Kath Hudson about the challenges of operating a high-end club when low-cost came on the scene
Interview: Mike Farrar
Harnessing the healthcare network to further the fitness sector’s ambitions is the core purpose of UK Active’s new chair, as he explains to Kate Cracknell
ukactive
Tel: 020 8158 9700
Address: The Bloomsbury Building, 10 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2SL, United Kingdom
Huw Edwards, CEO
Latest News
Leisure Media has added another heavyweight to its line-up of CEOs for its inaugural HCM ...
Latest News
Empowered Brands has signed a deal with European staffless gym chain, Fit+, to be the ...
Latest News
Speaking to HCM for its 2024-2025 Handbook, which will be out next month, PureGym managing ...
Latest News
Leisure, lifestyle, wellness and entertainment growth investor, Imbiba, has invested in boutique gym brand, 1Rebel's ...
Latest News
Urban Gym Group will launch PILAT3S at ClubSportive in Amsterdam next month, to create a ...
Latest News
The American Council on Exercise has appointed Dr Cedric Bryant as its new CEO. Bryant ...
Latest News
Sport England’s This Girl Can team has launched a new campaign, Let’s Get Out There, ...
Latest News
Improving physical strength and fitness, mental health and confidence are the main reasons for joining ...
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Coaching workshops from Keith Smith and Adam Daniel have been designed to empower your team and transform your service
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Operators, prepare to revolutionise the way members connect with personal trainers in your club, with the ground-breaking Brawn platform.
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
D2F had updated its brand styling to keep pace with business growth. MD, John Lofting and operations director, Matt Aynsley, explain the rationale
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Epassi, a provider of workplace wellness benefits, is creating a fitter and more productive workforce, one membership at a time 
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
University of Sheffield Sport has opened the doors of its flagship Goodwin Sports Centre following a major refurbishment
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
The New Keiser M3i Studio Bike brings ride data to life to engage and delight members
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Francesca Cooper-Boden says health assessment services can boost health club retention
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Nuffield Health has worked with ServiceSport UK for more than ten years, ensuring the equipment in its clubs is commercially optimised
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
GymNation is pioneering the future of fitness with software specialist Perfect Gym providing a scalable tech platform to power and sustain its growth
HCM promotional features
HCM magazine
Consumers’ growing love of strength training is to be welcomed, as this long-neglected modality has a renaissance, however, it’s vital we continue to make the case for cardio
HCM magazine
HCM People

Belinda Steward

MD of leisure, health and wellbeing, Places Leisure Places Leisure
We need to make it automatic that when people go to their doctor, they’re offered exercise rather than medication where appropriate
HCM magazine
We have a fantastic opportunity in front of us to realise our vision of a happier and healthier world
HCM magazine
When a hefty round of investment coincided with the pandemic, the CEO of Midtown Athletic Clubs feared the company – founded by his grandfather – would go down on his watch. He talks to Kath Hudson about the pressure to keep the business afloat
HCM magazine
HCM People

Jen Holland

CEO: Edinburgh Leisure
Edinburgh Council will have a £143m budget shortfall by 2028/29 and so must find ways to become more efficient
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Places Leisure successfully launches myFitApp to enhance member experience
Places Leisure is a leading leisure centre operator with a mission to create active places and healthy people for communities to thrive.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Sue Anstiss' Game Changers podcast headed for Elevate 2024
Join us at Elevate from 12-13 June in London for a special one-off live recording of The Game Changers Podcast with Sue Anstiss, CEO of Fearless Women.
Company profile
Company profile: ukactive
ukactive is the UK’s leading not-for-profit membership body for the physical activity sector, bringing together ...
Supplier Showcase
Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
ukactive press release: Cross-sector collaboration sees fitness and leisure facilities continue safety improvements with ‘Ask for Angela’ pilot
ukactive, This Girl Can, Safer Business Network, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor of London have joined forces to launch a pilot of the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign across 11 fitness and leisure centres in south west London.
Directory
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
08-10 Sep 2024
Wyndham® Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™ Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
20-22 Sep 2024
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
09-13 Oct 2024
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-06 Feb 2025
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates

press release: ukactive

Cross-sector collaboration sees fitness and leisure facilities continue safety improvements with ‘Ask for Angela’ pilot

16 Apr 2024
‘Ask for Angela’ allows people who feel like they are in an unsafe situation to ask staff for help / Shutterstock.com / 4 PM production
ukactive, This Girl Can, Safer Business Network, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor of London have joined forces to launch a pilot of the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign across 11 fitness and leisure centres in south west London.

Lampton Leisure and Anytime Fitness are leading the way by signing up some of their sites for an eight-week pilot of the nationally recognised safety campaign, which has previously demonstrated success in the hospitality sector.

Originally designed for licensed venues, ‘Ask for Angela’ allows people who feel like they are in an unsafe situation to ask staff for help by discreetly using the code word “Angela”.

The ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign aims to help promote safety and wellbeing for anyone who feels vulnerable or who finds themself in an uncomfortable position, and the organisations behind it want to explore its use in other public settings, starting with the fitness and leisure sector.

The pilot builds on recent work from ukactive and This Girl Can as part of ‘Safer Spaces to Move’, a two-year funded project that aims to address sexual harassment and intimidation by supporting more fitness and leisure facilities to improve their services for women and girls.

Launched on 26 February, the pilot will see an external evaluation agency capture the impact and learnings to help determine how well the campaign works in fitness and leisure facilities and whether it is suitable for adoption more widely within the sector.

Staff at each facility, including those on the front desk, gym floor and management, have been provided with a range of training tools to ensure they can best support users if they ask for ‘Angela’.

These tools include a dedicated training handbook and an animated training video that have been developed specifically for the sector, including advice and information on:

• What behaviour might constitute sexual harassment and intimidation in a gym setting and the wider context on the laws which surround this.

• How to respond when a customer ‘Asks for Angela’ and how to support and assist them to ensure they feel, and are, safe.

• When, how and to whom incidences of sexual harassment or intimidation can occur within a gym or leisure setting, as well as when to escalate a matter to senior management.

• How to embed ‘Ask for Angela’ alongside existing policies.

• Each facility has been provided with an ‘Ask for Angela’ communications toolkit including physical and digital posters; assets for digital screens and equipment; social media posts; an email template for member communications; and an email signature for staff to help raise awareness of the campaign.

Research from ukactive and This Girl Can found that four in 10 women surveyed (42%) had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation in their fitness or leisure centre and more than two thirds (68%) never reported it either because they did not know who to report it to or they did not think it was serious enough.

The pilot aims to help ensure all members and visitors feel safe and supported so that if they experience any form of inappropriate behaviour, they feel confident and comfortable reporting it to staff discreetly.

Harriett Jones, Interim Director of Sector Development and Head of Consumer Engagement at ukactive, said: “The fitness and leisure sector is determined to play its part in creating a safer nation, where everyone feels confident and comfortable in our communities.

“The Ask for Angela pilot is another great example of the work underway through the Safer Spaces to Move Project to improve the fitness and leisure environment for all users so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of being physically active in safe and welcoming facilities.

“It’s also part of a wider drive to ensure our sector’s workforce feels supported and equipped to manage any incidences of inappropriate behavior.

“We look forward to working with our members, partners and consumers to understand how this campaign could help drive improvement and what lessons we can take from its application in the hospitality industry.”

Head of Campaign Activation at This Girl Can, Claire Edwards, said: “For some, going to the gym can be an anxious experience. Wearing tight clothing, changing in front of others, entering often heavily male dominated spaces, as well worries about getting active and not being good enough are all too common – often for women and girls. Our research found that safety concerns restrict women’s freedom and comfort in fitness and leisure centres and pose a significant barrier to them enjoying exercise. ‘Ask for Angela’ will reassure women and girls that they can, and should, seek help or report any situation that has left them feeling uncomfortable and that staff will be on hand to help. The campaign has a proven history in the hospitality sector and we’re confident it will be beneficial to the health and fitness industry.”

Gareth Lewis, Director of Operations at Anytime Fitness UK, said: “We’re looking forward to our clubs supporting the leisure sector’s trial of ‘Ask for Angela'’. While gyms and leisure facilities are generally very safe places to be, the presence of ‘Ask for Angela’ provides an extra level of reassurance for visitors that if they were to experience any intimidation or harassment, the facility’s staff are fully trained in how to handle this. We hope that the pilot is a huge success and further builds on the great work that ukactive and our wider sector are doing in breaking down barriers and helping people feel safer and less intimidated when they set foot in a gym or leisure facility.”

Hannah Wadey, CEO, Safer Business Network said: “We are delighted to be one of the leading partner organisations in developing the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign and training adapted for the fitness and leisure sector. Safer Business Network has been instrumental raising awareness of the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign across the licensed trade, and it is fantastic to see other industry sectors now adopting the safety campaign.”

Detective Superintendent Brittany Clarke, Lead Responsible Officer for Violence Against Women and Girls, Metropolitan Police, said: “Gyms and leisure centres are generally safe places where you can keep fit and have fun. However, no one, regardless of gender, should be made to feel threatened or intimidated when working out.

“It’s clear that some people have found it difficult to report instances like this in the past so that’s why we suggested bringing ‘Ask for Angela’ into this environment. We are delighted to be a part of this project and hope it will make a difference to customers.”

Amy Lamé, Night Czar for Mayor of London, said: “The Mayor and I are determined to make London the safest and most welcoming city in the world. We want women, girls and everyone out in London to be safe and to feel safe – whatever time of day and night and whatever they are doing in the capital.

“’Ask for Angela’ is well established across the hospitality sector in London as a vital way of supporting anyone feeling vulnerable or targeted to get quick and discreet help when they need it. I’m thrilled our Women’s Night Safety Charter is supporting this work to get the scheme piloted in the capital’s gym and leisure sector and staff are receiving dedicated training to ensure they’re ready to give the appropriate support to those in need.”
More press releases and updates from ukactive:
ukactive is calling for the Government to tap into growing consumer demand for gyms and leisure centres as it publishes its first Consumer Engagement report, revealing major opportunities to improve health and wellbeing across the UK.
ukactive has announced 30 new appointments to its Member Council groups as it develops its Governance structure to ensure it remains fully representative of the membership.
The office of Andrew Lewer MP has been named the winner of the ‘Fit for Office’ challenge, hosted by ukactive in partnership with Myzone.
A survey of ukactive members has revealed that nearly a quarter (24%) of council areas remain at risk of seeing their leisure centres close or reduce services by September, due to ongoing high energy costs and other operational pressures.
ukactive has announced that National Fitness Day 2024 will take place on Wednesday 18 September, hot on the heels of the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris.
ukactive: news from HCMmag.com and FitTechGlobal.com
Improving physical strength and fitness, mental health and confidence are the main reasons for joining a health club, while cost, time and motivation are the main reasons for leaving.
UK Active has announced details of its annual health and fitness industry awards ceremony, which will take place in Birmingham on the evening of Thursday 3 October at the International Convention Centre.
The first annual Private Sector Benchmarking report was released today (27 March). A collaboration between UK Active and 4Global, the aim of the research is to provide accurate insight into the state of UK-based private sector health clubs.
In a soft power exercise, politicians in the UK have been invited to take part in a challenge which encourages them to be more active, while raising awareness of the benefits of physical activity.
Mike Farrar, chair of UK Active, has called on the UK government to deploy the physical activity sector to support the NHS and tackle the UK’s pandemic of poor health and sluggish economy.
ukactive: featured in HCM and Fit Tech magazines
Life lessons: Huw Edwards
Remember when there was mass hostility about London hosting the 2012 Olympics? Huw Edwards, CEO of UK Active, was there. He talks to Kath Hudson about the lessons he learned
Consumer expectations are rising all the time, but nowhere more than in relation to digital. UK Active’s Dave Gerrish explains how the industry is shaping up
Kath Hudson talks to industry experts from around the world about their key takeaways from last year and their hopes for 2024
Industry insights: Predictions
Time are tough but tough times bring out the best in us. Kath Hudson asks some of the world’s top industry experts where they see the glimpses of blue sky
Life lessons: Dave Courteen
The author, industry veteran, UK Active board member and founder and CEO of Mosaic Spa and Health Clubs talks to Kath Hudson about the challenges of operating a high-end club when low-cost came on the scene
Interview: Mike Farrar
Harnessing the healthcare network to further the fitness sector’s ambitions is the core purpose of UK Active’s new chair, as he explains to Kate Cracknell
ukactive
Tel: 020 8158 9700
Address: The Bloomsbury Building, 10 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2SL, United Kingdom
Huw Edwards, CEO
ukactive video gallery:
Key personnel
Mike Farrar, Chair
Huw Edwards, CEO
Steven Scales, Director of Membership and Sector Development
Jack Shakespeare, Director of Research, Policy and Communications
Key customers
Gyms, health clubs, leisure centres, fitness studios, swimming pools, sports bodies, activity providers, equipment suppliers, technology suppliers, health bodies, education bodies, health charities, consumer fitness brands
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Leaderboard
Leaderboard
Innovatise UK Ltd
Innovatise UK Ltd
Partner sites