GLL awarded Children’s Centres contract in Greenwich
The UK’s largest leisure charitable social enterprise, GLL has been awarded a new management contract to run Children’s Centres in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. GLL currently operates all of the leisure centres and libraries in the borough on behalf of Greenwich Council under their ‘Better’ brand.
GLL now operates ten children centres in a three-year partnership with the council, with an additonal two-year extension possible. This includes four children’s centres in the east of the borough, including Waterways & Mulberry Park Children’s Centre, Abbey Wood Children’s Centre, and Discovery Children’s Centre. GLL will also run six children’s centres in the south of the borough, including Storkway & Shooters Hill Children’s Centre, Vista Field & Eltham Children’s Centre, and Alderwood & Greenacres Children’s Centre.
The core purpose of the children’s centres is to provide support for children and families in greatest need. GLL will be assisting in a range of areas that include child development and school readiness; parenting skills and aspirations; as well as child and family health and life chances.
The partnership is a new area for GLL, and a diversification from the over 140 public sport and leisure centres, and 27 libraries (including three prison libraries) that it currently runs in partnership with over 30 local councils, public agencies and sporting organisations.
Gillian Palmer, Director of Children’s Services for Greenwich Council, said, “GLL’s bid for the contract was particularty strong as it showed an understanding of local needs, with proposals to expand and enhance services through linking with other GLL services within the community.
“The combination of GLL’s business experience, central support, and track record of delivery through a local social enterprise organisation, combined with the knowledge and experience of the Children’s Centre staff was considered to be very powerful. In addition, GLL offers further opportunity through apprenticeships and other employment and training initiatives for parents and carers.”
Mark Sesnan, Managing Director of GLL, said, “We are pleased to be able to manage such a worthy contract in Greenwich. Children’s centres deliver a range of universal and targeted services, which are highly valued by local residents. This early help plays a key role in supporting families, to build their resilience and promote early learning, as well as preventing the escalation of problems and referrals to Safeguarding and Social Care.
“Our status as a ‘not for profit’ charitable social enterprise means that we have both the operational skills and community focus that will enable us to successfully operate these kind of facilities across the borough, as we already do for public sport, leisure centres and libraries in Greenwich.”