On Thursday 2 November, charitable social enterprise GLL celebrated its 30-year anniversary and hosted an event at the House of Commons Pavilion Terrace with nearly 200 of its supporters and partners.
Hosted by Clive Efford MP and featuring speeches from Rt Hon Lady Glenys Thornton (GLL and Social Enterprise Advocate), Sally Gunnell (GSF Patron), Peter Bundey (GLL CEO) and Bobby Seagull (Libraries Ambassador), the event looked back over the last 30 years and highlighted how GLL has evolved, while also announcing its plans for the future.
GLL promotes healthy and active lifestyles, giving communities access to facilities that help improve their health and happiness through participation in leisure and cultural activities. It also operates over 240 leisure centres, 120 libraries and 15 children's centres in partnership with 50 local councils.
GLL has always believed that its aims and aspirations should constantly be updated to ensure it meets the needs of local communities, individuals and partners. As part of this philosophy, GLL has created a new plan showcasing its values, innovations, and commitment to making a positive impact on communities across the UK, which it announced in August.
The plan, which sets the course for the next five years will emphasise:
Embracing technology to improve the experience of the communities GLL serves.
GLL CEO Peter Bundey said: “GLL is a unique organisation, a staff-owned co-op that shows social enterprises can succeed at national scale.
“Over 30 years we have expanded our public service offer, bringing measurable benefit to local communities - while keeping facilities open in challenging circumstances.
“As the largest player in our sector we have responsibilities to lead the way and our next 30 years will see us do just that, working closely with our partners and clients to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the nation.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been part of our journey.”
Rod Tonna-Barthet, Annodata Chief Executive Officer and partner to GLL, said: “Kyocera Annodata began its sponsorship of the GLL Sport Foundation in 2015. Since then the programme has gone from strength to strength, delivering awards to over 20,000 athletes. Many bright and talented athletes throughout the United Kingdom struggle to chase their dreams of sporting glory due to lack of funding, so GLL does an excellent job in ensuring as few young athletes as possible end up slipping through the net.
“We are passionate about helping GLL give equal opportunities to all young people and achieving their dreams of competing on the international stage. We’re proud to see GLL celebrate 30 years of great
community work, and look forward to continuing our partnership with the charity in the future.”