I hope that you and your family are keeping well at this time and have been staying active where possible.

In light of the government guidance and recent statements, I wanted to write to let you know how we are preparing for the future beyond lockdown and also take a little time to explain what our teams have been doing during this period.

I’ll update you over the next few weeks as and when government announcements are made.

First to what we have been up to during lockdown.

The pandemic has brought all of our communities and businesses significant challenges which includes ourselves.  Whilst we have had to close our facilities and cease our services, we have had a small team working tirelessly in a number of roles to ensure, where possible, that we provide support to the communities and customers we serve.

Some examples of this work include:

  • Supporting the ‘home but not alone initiative’ by redeploying staff into this team
  • Contacting our Active Living and Exercise on Referral customers to check in on them and make sure they are keeping well
  • Working in partnership with the Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance to support those affected by dementia
  • Hosting a Medical Equipment Distribution Centre in Bury St Edmunds
  • Donating food to local foodbanks
  • Redeploying some of our staff to support those in sheltered accommodation
  • Supporting the ‘Keep Moving Suffolk’ campaign, promoting a wide variety of different forms of exercise
  • Supporting  and encouraging our customers to stay active through a variety of different online and social media means
  • Working with West Suffolk Council and Babergh District Council to make sure the leisure facilities are maintained during this period to ensure they can reopen in a good condition.
  • Hosting the local 3D Crowd UK cleaning and distribution centre for 3D Printed Face Shields For Frontline Workers
  • Hosting NHS cardiac rehab online classes

We also know that our staff have been helping and volunteering in their own communities.
I am not trying to pretend that we have made the biggest difference and there are a lot of organisations who are doing amazing things, but we have tried to help and play our part where we can.

Our teams have heard some fantastic stories from customers including the enthusiasm for making a comeback to the facilities and services we operate…it’s clear that you have been missing your normal routine with us.

Whilst you will know Abbeycroft Leisure as an organisation that runs your local gym and swimming pool, some of you may not realise that we are a social enterprise (a registered charity) which means that the income generated through people taking part in activities with us, supports our broader communities to stay active through a range of different projects.

This work ranges from working with families impacted by dementia, supporting young people with anxiety and mental health as well as initiating programmes such as parkrun.

We know that these initiatives support our communities in so many different ways and will be an essential element of recovery. Some of these initiatives have been and will be supported by our Inspire Card. Therefore, you will hear a little more about these initiatives over the coming weeks and we will be urging you to sign up to the Inspire Card Loyalty Scheme, not only to support these activities but also to ensure that you receive the benefits of the Inspire Card.

Thank you for your patience and support and I will be in touch again over the next few weeks to provide you with further updates.

Stay safe and stay well.



Warren Smyth
Chief Executive
Abbeycroft Leisure


(picture above: Canva stock image)