Better leisure centres relaunch Warm Spaces offer for Winter 23
GLL, the charitable social enterprise that operates municipal leisure centres on behalf of 50 local authorities under its Better brand, has today announced that for the second year it will be offering up its facilities as dedicated Warm Spaces this winter.
The initiative first launched in 2022 in response to the winter’s cost of living crisis and will provide anyone living in the vicinity of a participating leisure centre a warm welcome, comfortable seating, the opportunity to charge a phone or device, use the free WiFi or even to have a hot shower. In addition, leading wholesale food service company Brakes, has agreed to donate free tea, coffee and biscuits.
The scheme, which when launched was the first of its kind for the leisure industry, is being rolled out across 76 leisure centres and will span England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is supported by Age UK and Carers UK, with local collaborations taking place with community food banks, charities and Citizen’s Advice Bureaux.
Commenting on the winter relaunch of the Warm Spaces initiative, Joseph Rham, Customer Experience Director at GLL said: “As a charitable social enterprise, whose ethos is to give back to local communities. The ongoing challenge of high utility prices, combined with a wider cost of living crisis will once leave many people struggling this winter. Where we can we want to support those who are finding it hard to heat their homes during the coldest months of the year.
“Our facilities are at the heart of local communities and are ideally suited to serve as Warm Spaces. They are easily accessible, known to local residents and are natural places to socialise. Our staff will be on hand to offer a warm welcome to anyone, whether they are leisure centre members or not, who are in need of a place of respite during the coming months.”
Michael Andersen, Chief Commercial Officer for Brakes and Sysco GB said: “We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic initiative once again. This winter is going to be tough for so many people, and Warm Spaces offers a lifeline to those who are struggling to heat their own homes by giving them somewhere to go for warmth, activities and the company of others. This sort of initiative links perfectly to our wider company purpose of connecting the world to share food and care for one another.”
For further information and to find a list of participating Better leisure centres visit: https://www.better.org.uk/healthy-communities/warm-spaces