‘Outstanding’ Awards victory for Life Leisure


Life Leisure, a charitable trust which runs 13 leisure services across Stockport and Cumbria and has a workforce of over 600 people, was awarded two gongs at the UKActive Training Awards in Birmingham on Thursday evening (November 15). The awards recognised Life Leisure’s dedication to staff development while providing exceptional services to Stockport residents.

Ruth Lynch, who is head of health, fitness and communities, was named Outstanding Individual of the Year for her unwavering commitment to learning and development.

The company’s staff development (and behavioural) programme – which inspires team members to become leaders within the company and industry– earned the service the Transformational Leadership Award.

Michaela Pennington, Operations Director, from Life Leisure, said: “We are absolutely thrilled at the results. We are very proud of all of our staff. For Ruth to be recognised at a national level is a real testament to her hard work and dedication. Her passion and dedication to helping and inspiring not just her team but all our members and customers knows no bounds and she has been instrumental in helping so many people change their lives for the better.

“We strive to deliver a fantastic service to the community and having well supported and determined staff is a huge part of that.”

Mum-of-two Ruth, who has worked in the leisure industry for 22 years, joining Life Leisure in 2013, beat off competition from four others to win the award. 2018 saw her revamping Life Leisure’s courses timetable, leading to an outstanding 100% attendance rate.

Using her own tragic experiences of living alongside people with mental health issues, she designed courses to focus on a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Ruth also introduced Health and Wellbeing Days for Stockport residents, where experts delivered theoretical and practical sessions on how to live a more positive life.

Ruth also introduced the Tough Tribe obstacle course race to Stockport and was instrumental in boosting participation by 60% between the 2017 and 2018 races.

Ruth, who was the only woman nominated, said: “I am over the moon. To be recognised for doing something that I love is absolutely fantastic.”

Life Leisure earned The Transformational Leadership Award in recognition of its Row-The-Boat (RTB) programme, which encourages staff from across the service to become ‘RTB sentinels’ who can take on more responsibilities and help the service as a whole. The aim of the programme is to develop individuals into leaders. The programme consists of a series of developmental workshops, focus group and 1-2-1 mentor sessions, as well as theoretical and practical assignments.

Malcolm McPhail, Group CEO, from Life Leisure, said: “Inadequate leadership has the potential to damage the company's bottom line, as well as lowering employee morale, motivation and productivity.

“The RTB programme excels in supporting individuals, offering opportunities to them to develop across the service. This scheme has been a huge success and we are thrilled it has been recognised at this prestigious awards.”

The UKActive Training Awards, which were established to celebrate the success of the activity workforce and the very best of Learning and Development within the sector, are supported by CIMPSA and sponsored by Active IQ.

The event was held in Birmingham on Thursday, November 14.

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