The Star Awards 2019

Our Places Leisure colleagues shone at the annual Places for People Group Star Awards in Edinburgh last week.

The Star Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the achievements of just a few of the many ‘stars’ that we are lucky to have within Places Leisure who go the extra mile and make a positive difference to our communities. This year Places Leisure colleagues won four awards including: The Bright Spark Award; Going the Extra Mile Award; Leading Change Award; and the Respect Award. Across Leisure there were 320 nominations this year, showcasing how many inspiring individuals work within the company.

‘Bright Spark Award’

George Davies - Lifeguard/Swim Teacher Assistant, The Activity Zone

The ‘Bright Spark Award’ is designed to recognise a colleague who is aged between 16-24 and has a can-do attitude, is willing to learn and has a real ‘spark’ in their personality! This year the ‘Bright Spark Award’ was awarded to George Davies. George started working at The Activity Zone in June 2018 as a Swim Assistant. After only a month he also took on the role of delivering leaflets through rain or shine to promote the centre’s activities, before also joining the dry side recreational team. In February, George started his lifeguard qualification; he has learnt the job quickly and always ensures the centre is clean and tidy for our customers. He consistently goes over and above to help others regardless of whether or not his shift has started or finished.

George works hard to form relationships with customers visiting The Activity Zone. He has played a crucial role in helping the children in his swimming lessons to overcome their fears in the water – the children now excitedly chant his name while they’re waiting for their lesson to start!

George was nominated by Krista Davies, the Swimming Coordinator at The Activity Zone, who said: “George is keen, hardworking, conscientious and always has a positive energy. He is a trusted and valued member of the team.”

‘Going the Extra Mile Award’

Neil Scrine - Deputy Manager, Deben Leisure Centre

Neil Scrine was recognised for ‘Going the Extra Mile’ during a rescue that occurred at Deben Leisure Centre. Neil led a team of colleagues who gave immediate first aid to a member who became unwell at the leisure centre, in addition to managing the arrival of the emergency first responder, paramedics and Air Ambulance crew. Following the incident, Neil was also instrumental in supporting the colleagues involved and really went the ‘extra mile’.

Leading Change Award’

Andy Glover - Head of Customer Experience, Central Support

Andy Glover was awarded the Leading Change Award for his commitment to transforming the company’s approach to Customer Experience. Andy joined Places Leisure three years ago, as the first specialist in customer experience to be employed by the company. He has introduced a 'Mystery Customer' programme, with our centres now receiving 200 mystery visits per month, providing a level of insight that the company has never had before. It also enables us to identify ‘star’ performers and opportunities for Line Managers to have great coaching conversations with their team based on 'real life' customer feedback. Andy has also transformed our NPS programme. Response rates have risen from 3% to 11% which equates to 7,000 additional pieces of insight. This is allowing us to make more informed and calculated decisions rather than simply intuitive ones.

John Oxley, Chief Operating Officer stated: “Andy is a 'change agent', a leader of high quality and an asset to the organisation and our colleagues. His transformation of our understanding of the customer experience has been mightily impressive and his approach embodies the very essence of our SPIRIT values.”


Lucy May, Adam Fawcett, Ethan Hood, Gregory Rogers, Isabelle Syson, James Baker, Abbey Highman, Pearce Munday, Robert Shaw and Stephen Fitt from Gosport Leisure Centre

These colleagues from Gosport Leisure Centre were nominated by James Dumper, the Contract Manager, following their outstanding teamwork during the resuscitation and use of an AED on a centre member who became unwell in the gym.

The immediate actions of the team resulted in an outstanding success where the member left the leisure centre sat up, talking and making jokes with the ambulance team. Feedback received from doctors afterwards commended the team’s quick actions and said that without them, it would have resulted in a completely different story.

Pearce and Ethan were also nominated due to their respect and innovation when it came to taking on the responsibility of other tasks at the same time as this rescue, as well as the support and care they gave to their fellow colleagues afterwards.

Congratulations to the team for receiving the well-deserved ‘RESPECT Award’.