Printed Date: 09/02/2023

GLL: Our Story. 25 Years of Social Enterprise

Better swim

25 Years of Social Enterprise

We are very proud to share our commemorative book ’GLL: Our Story.  25 Years of Social Enterprise.’

You might not know it, but our uniquely successful social business which now spans the country from Belfast to Bromley, from Cardiff to Cumbria started life with a handful of centres in Greenwich in 1993.

Since then, we’ve come a long way and made a huge difference to the many local communities where we operate.

We want to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to our client partners, customers and staff who have joined us on the journey.

What makes us different

We are a not-for-profit leisure and cultural social enterprise which means a business run on charitable lines, which is dedicated to improving the lives of its customers.

Our ethos means any trading surpluses do not line the pockets of corporate fat cats or dividend-earning shareholders (we have none) but are reinvested in the service - removing barriers to participation, developing our staff and investing in grassroots sports development.

Measuring the difference

By using a mathematical formula developed with leading research specialists at Sheffield Hallam University, we can now assign a value to the difference we make in communities up and down the land where we operate.

In 2019, communities were £410m better off due to improvements in health & wellbeing, educational attainment and reduction in crime.

Tackling Britain’s Inactivity Crisis

Everything we do is about getting people up off their sofas and swapping their tablets and screens for activity - to exercise their bodies and minds – whether that’s doing a sponsored swim for charity,  joining a fitness class, volunteering with a community project or joining one of the many social and educational activities in our libraries.

Active communities are healthier communities and in our book (click on the link to download a PDF version), you’ll see many examples of how you can get involved – either as a member, service user or via our GSF and GCF programmes.

The future

We are modernising and improving our business but are not going to forget the social enterprise that lies at our heart and which makes a daily difference to many local communities where we operate, helping put health and wellbeing at the very top of the national agenda.

We are concentrating on improving customer experience with cashless and queueless facilities and online services that are more convenient.

And we are not going to forget that our customers choose to come to our ethical business over private sector providers. That’s something we can all take pride in.