Printed Date: 21/05/2024

How buying social is changing lives this Black Friday


As shoppers begin the search for bargains as part of the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is worth considering how making purchases through a social enterprise can have wider benefits for communities up and down the country.

As part of its social enterprise ethos, GLL – the UK’s largest leisure charitable social enterprise - is committed to reinvesting any financial surpluses, to make a positive impact on the communities it serves. 

Through the promotion, provision and delivery of affordable, quality sport and physical activity in all of our partnerships, we want to empower local communities to improve their health, wellbeing and quality of life.

We encourage people to lead active lifestyles. The wider impact of this investment includes the financial and in-kind equivalent benefits to communities, calculated using social value.Social Value refers to wider financial and non-financial impacts of programmes, organisations and interventions, including the wellbeing of individuals and communities, social capital and the environment. 

Our Social Value raised includes £10m invested in elite sporting talent via our GLL Sports Foundation, and the launch of our crowdfunding initiative The GLL Community Foundation providing match funding and in kind small grants of up to £5k for neighbourhood improvement projects.

By improving access to and use of our Better leisure centres, libraries and childrens centres, we promote a lifestyle change whose impact can be ‘life changing’ on an individual scale and community building on a broader scale.

Sport and physical activity are widely recognised as generating added social value in four ways:

• Improved health

• Reduced crime

• Increased educational attainment (employability)

• Improved life satisfaction (social wellbeing)      

According to the DataHub Social Value Calculator (partnered by Experian & Sheffield Hallam University) which measures and translates these benefits into a monetary value.

In 2018, every £1 GLL spent in the community yielded a social return of £1.82 measured in benefits to customers’ health and happiness, education, employment and in local crime reduction.

So, whether you’re joining your local Better Leisure Centre, using facilities at a Better library, or booking yourself or a friend to a treatment with Spa Experience by Better, when customers choose the UK’s largest leisure charitable social enterprise this festive season, they’re not only boosting their health and wellbeing, but they are also improving lives in communities around the UK.