Following the closure of all leisure centres late last night, Places Leisure have focussed their efforts on responding to community needs by donating food and drink to the value of circa £25,000 to local foodbanks.
More than 100 Places Leisure venues were forced to close on Friday 20 March due to the latest government directive to restrict social gatherings in the hope of minimising the transition of coronavirus. This action meant that the 35 centres with cafés were left with stock of fresh food and foodstuffs that would potentially go to waste if not redistributed. Fortunately, the stock has been donated to charities in the communities where the centres are based, giving local foodbanks a much-needed boost at this difficult time.
Chris Cregg, Head of Catering and Retail at Places Leisure, said: “We did not hesitate to instruct all of our leisure centres with cafés to donate, within food safety guidelines, our stocks of fresh food and foodstuffs to those in need within their communities. Vending machine stock from all our centres is also being donated.
“Foodbanks in particular are struggling at this time to acquire foods for re-distribution and coupled with a shortage of volunteers due to their regular teams being in the ‘at risk’ category, they need all the support that can be offered.”
As a charitable social enterprise, Places Leisure reinvests its profits back into the sports and leisure facilities that it operates in partnership with 36 local authorities across the UK. It is proud to have a positive social impact on the health of the communities it serves.