We send our very best wishes to you, your family and friends and hope you are well and staying safe, particularly if taking advantage of finally being able to meet up with family and friends.
Today, we were hoping to bring you some really exciting news about reopening but as many of you may be aware, whilst the Prime Minister announced a relaxing in the social distancing rules yesterday and the reopening of certain businesses, he made it clear that what he described as “close contact” businesses cannot reopen yet. Unfortunately, this includes leisure providers with indoor facilities (gyms, swimming pools, courts, soft play etc).
This was quite a blow as we are missing you as much as we hope you are missing us. There was no alternative date for reopening given and so we will continue to monitor the Government’s announcements closely and hope to share some better news soon.
However, this doesn’t mean we don’t have work to do. Whilst a huge effort was made initially to successfully secure a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan to keep the Trust afloat, our work then quickly moved to ensuring the environment we provide for you and our staff is a safe one.
Our approach to health, hygiene and cleanliness
You will not be surprised to hear that we will be implementing a wide range of social distancing and hygiene measures to be in place to keep all our members, customers and staff safe when we can reopen. As always, your health and wellbeing remain our top priority.
During the lockdown our work with national leisure organisations and governing bodies ramped up considerably. We continue to work closely with a number of these such as ukactive, Community Leisure UK, Swim England, The Swimming Teachers’ Association and the Royal Life Saving Society and will be considering their guidance as we follow the Government and Public Health England’s guidance to ensure we provide a safe environment in which to exercise when you can return.
We are in discussion with leisure providers in the Channel Islands, whose Government allowed them to open at the end of May. We are able to share ideas, best practice and support as well as learn what went well and what didn’t over the last few weeks.
Over the coming weeks leading up to our reopening, we will be providing you with more regular updates. These will include the measures we’ll need to take to keep everyone safe and what we’ll all need to do differently to support this. We expect there will be a number of things that will have to change – the extent of these changes will largely depend on the guidance that the Government and Public Health England publish for our sector.
Just as with other leisure operators, some of these measures may include changes to opening times, smaller exercise classes and public swimming session numbers, time limits on the use of facilities and it is almost inevitable that all activities will need to be booked in advance.
Importantly, we are also reviewing and revising all our cleaning and hygiene procedures and will ensure all staff teams are thoroughly trained on these requirements before we open.
To all our members and customers, we want to thank you for your resilience and patience during the lockdown. We’ll be in touch again soon with further details about how we are transforming our sites, what measures we have put in place and a reopening date as soon as we are able. We’ll email you as well as publish information on our website and social media channels.
Once again, we must make a special mention for those of you who have continued to support the Trust during lockdown by keeping your direct debits in play. We really are truly humbled and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Place to be Proud Awards
As you may have seen on Basingstoke Sports Centre’s Facebook page, we have been selected as a finalist for this year's 'Place to Be Proud' Community Business Awards. Last year we were the proud winners of this award. Given how much the Trust contributes through the hard work of our staff to health and wellbeing activities, it would be fabulously rewarding to win the award n 2020.
You will be aware that we provide a wide range of programmes for our local communities including cardiac rehabilitation, prostate cancer rehabilitation, falls prevention, Parkinson’s and GP exercise referral.
Given these particularly challenging times, receiving this award would remind Basingstoke what the Trust contributes to the borough as well as a thank you for all the staff involved, the majority of whom are currently on furlough. Finally, you can accept the award as a thank you to you, too. Without your patronage of our facilities, we couldn’t provide such important opportunities.
The award winner will be decided by a public vote and so we need your help. Please vote for us using the link below and please pass this onto your family and friends and encourage them to vote and share as well. The vote closes on the 30 June so please act quickly:
We will be back in touch soon. Until then, stay safe and take care.
All the team at BST