Launch Of National Directory Unites Non-Profit-Run Public Sports, Leisure, Arts and Culture Activities

Published on: August 28th 2020

Community Leisure UK is proud to partner with Bigwave media on a campaign to get people back to their favourite sport, leisure, arts and culture activities. The lockdown has hit charitable trusts hard, and we know that the support of their community is vital for the recovery of trusts and charities providing public leisure and culture. With the Community Active website, it is now easier than ever for people to find an accessible and inclusive sport, leisure, arts or culture activity near them.

The online directory builds on the Bigwave media-designed Get U Back campaign; a national campaign adopted by Community Leisure UK members to encourage a safe return and to emphasise the new Covid-19 secure safety measures put in place. The campaign is bilingual to encourage both English and Welsh speaking communities to return to their local public leisure or culture facility. Kev Forester, Commercial Director at LiveWire, a charitable trust in Warrington, said:

What has been of particular benefit to our organisation is the proactive nature of the support offered by Bigwave, whether this be through the ready-made signage packs available, or with the collaborative national ‘Get U Back’ campaign which offered a timely and pertinent movement that we were keen to adopt as the over-arching message of our customer focused Covid-19 recovery strategy.

The free Community Active Directory allows users to filter by location, finding a trust or charity near them, or to search by type of facility – leisure centre, swimming pool, library, theatre and more – to find a specific activity they like to engage in. To date, 53 charities and trusts across Scotland, England and Wales have registered to the site; directly allowing their community to find them with one simple search. Mark Tweedie, Chief Executive of Community Leisure UK, said:

Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed the reopening of our public leisure and culture facilities in England and Wales, with the reopening in Scotland due imminently. Facilities and activities will look different, and not all locations will be able to reopen right away, but through the Community Active Directory we hope it will be easier for the public to find their way to their local charitable trust-run facility.

Importantly, the Directory highlights what makes charitable trusts so unique; they are strong local employers, and profits do not go to shareholders but are re-invested in projects supporting communities’ health and well-being. Community Leisure UK members employ over 46,000 staff across leisure and culture, and are significant employers of 18-34 year olds. Over 17,000 volunteers engage with them, participating in a wide range of opportunities to support the work of their local charitable trust.

Commenting on the launch of the Directory, Tom Gozna, Strategic & Partnerships Director at Bigwave said:

Looking at how we could support clients through COVID lockdown, one of the initiatives that grew was the Get U Back campaign; a national campaign to encourage safe return to facilities. With it came the launch of the Community Leisure UK partnered website, which has now grown from just a single campaign-based site to a public facing tool to champion the Leisure and Cultural Trust model. Through the release of Operator blog posts talking about what it means to be a Trust, we are uniting to tell the story of the Trust model in a new and engaging way.