Re-opening update

A message from Paul, our Chief Executive Officer

The Government recently announced the steps towards the easing of restrictions and we’re working hard to re-open our centres on April 12th, assuming we receive a final, green light announcement on April 5th.  Outdoor activities are being reviewed ahead of this, and where we can offer them sensibly and safely, we will.

As with previous re-openings, we’ve checked-in on your views with a Customer Survey, and to-date, just under 16,000 have responded with 1000’s more responding to our Swim Lesson survey.  We can’t thank you enough for the time you’ve taken and the suggestions you’ve made.  Your feedback shapes our thinking, we can do more of what we do well and ensure we stay on the same page as we look not just to our re-opening, but to a future with fewer restrictions.

Firstly, you’ve told us how much of a challenge a winter lockdown has made keeping you and your families active, so I’m sure you are looking forward to re-opening as much as we are.

And, as we get prepared to welcome you back, we have been particularly delighted to see from the survey, just how reassured you’ve been with the safety and hygiene measures that we have implemented. We asked:

Please rate the social distancing and hygiene measures that we have put in place?

You scored us 4.6 stars out of 5—that’s 15,765 customers, rating their visits across 79 centres.

As we move forward, I want to personally assure you that we will continue to be committed to:

  1. Maintaining these high standards for you, your friends and family when you return.
  2. Continuing to communicate your choices clearly so that you are in control.  Ensuring that you are kept fully informed of your earliest opportunity to book and return to your centre, and if you aren’t yet ready to return how you can freeze your membership for longer.
  3. Offering a warm welcome from our teams, all of whom will receive the necessary refresher training on their return to work.
  4. Supporting you in your health and well-being goals, whether that’s our amazing swim teachers, our fitness team helping you get the most from your workout or, our home workout offering.
  5. Providing more on demand content. We were delighted with your feedback on the range and quality of content available in Places Locker Virtual Studio. We’ll soon be adding more content for you to enjoy, and, if you qualify for free access we have extended this to 17th May.
  6. Continuing to listen and improve—we’ve reduced the gym clean down time to make more sessions available, and before the latest lockdown, we experienced record volumes of online bookings and reliability, we’re investing heavily to ensure this stability continues.  The majority of you told us that you are happy to keep pre-booking, and we will continue to check in on how your views change—where we can buy you more time in the centre and ease any restrictions in a sensible manner we will.

Many of your comments in the survey referenced the outstanding work of our teams, and we’ll share all of these with them.  While this has been a tough time for everyone, I’m so proud to share with you that many of our colleagues have been volunteering in their local communities, and, we’ve welcomed every opportunity we’ve had to partner with our local communities and put our centres to good use as COVID testing and vaccination centres. Click here to read more.

Finally, we joined in the clap for carers, and now, we’d like to extend our gratitude further by offering  all NHS workers their first month of membership for free. This offer is in addition to our standard discounts for NHS workers of up to 20% off full priced memberships. They’ve kept the nation strong and healthy for the past year, and now it’s time for us to take care of them by giving the gift of health and fitness. Click here to register.

Our role in your community is only possible because of our local council partners, and of course, you, our customers. Please be assured of our ongoing commitment to you—we can’t wait to welcome you back.

Kind regards,

Paul McPartlan