The Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy (SLC), supported by Hall Aitken, conducted a half day workshop on performance management on Thursday 16th January, at the Triangle, Burgess Hill, West Sussex hosted by Freedom Leisure and attended by the South East Leisure Contractors Organisation (SELCO). Following a debate about Key Performance Indicators, SLC were invited to present their thoughts on the changing landscape for the sport and leisure sector, and devise a workshop which would promote debate and highlight some of the challenges and opportunities facing the sector today and for the foreseeable future in relation to performance management. New portrait 175 x 300SLC are leading advocates of the sport and leisure sector embracing the opportunities presented through the move of Public Health to local government and, working with SLC Associate Carl Bennett, have been developing approaches that will enable organisations to:

  • learn of the new language of health
  • work with their local authorities and local Public Health professionals to understand the health needs of their contract areas
  • identify gaps in skills and expertise and build capacity to deliver and evaluate health and wellbeing services
  • and develop and promote services that contribute to local health priorities and tackling health inequalities.

David GourlaySLC were supported by Hall Aitken, a leading consultancy practice specialising in evaluation and support, and Social Return on Investment (SROI), represented at the workshop by Director, David Gourlay. Hall Aitken has been working with Sport England, National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) and the Premier League for a number of years and have recently been supporting Big Lottery Funded projects across the UK. The concept of Social Value has been on the rise in recent years, signified most notably by Royal Assent being given to the Public Services (Social Value) Bill in March 2013. Hall Aitken has been working in this area in recent years, has been heavily involved in working with the SROI network and has drafted the most recent Introductory Guide to Social Value, to be launched by the SROI network in Milan in June 2014. Key areas explored included:

  • Are leisure contractors measuring the right information to support growth and longer term sustainability?
  • How much data do leisure contractors have on their customers and non-users and what do they do with it?
  • How can leisure contractors demonstrate their added value as a contractor to their client and future clients in terms of delivering wider outcomes / social return on investment?
  • What are other organisations doing to secure funding from Health, Adult Social Care and Children’s Services?
  • What information and help is available.

The presentations from Duncan Wood-Allum and David Gourlay prompted a healthy debate surrounding issues including the requirements and expectations of local authorities, engagement with public health, inclusion of health and wellbeing related outcomes in management contracts, and the resource and capacity implications of the need to evaluate health interventions and provide robust evidence of achieved outcomes. Although many of the organisations present are already delivering services that deliver against their local authorities’ health and wellbeing priorities, the need to change the external perception that “they are just a leisure operator” was widely felt amongst delegates. The workshop was attended by the following operators:

  • Impulse
  • Inspire
  • Freedom Leisure
  • Tonbridge School
  • Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust
  • Sencio
  • Ashford Leisure Trust
  • Worthing Leisure
  • Wave Leisure.

Delegate feedback included:

  • “Really useful”
  • “Thank you for providing an informative and useful morning”
  • “Very good topic”
  • “Very useful – lots to think about and a follow session …[would be] useful”
  • “This event has provided me with a new outlook on leisure / health provision”
  • “A great session – Thanks”

SLC and Hall Aitken would like to thank SELCO and its members for their openness and cooperation, and for helping to ensure a productive and thought-provoking session. Full name smallIf you would like to find out more about how SLC can help your organisation better prepare for the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing landscape, call Duncan Wood-Allum on 01444 459927, or email him here.

For more information on SROI, contact SLC Partner, David Gourlay, Director of Hall Aitken, on 01412 255511 or email him here.