I hope that this newsletter finds you safe and well. It has been just over eight weeks since we closed and these past sixty plus days have been the most challenging, interesting, and exhausting days of our careers which is bizarre given that we are closed!

Members Hub
During this time there has been a tremendous amount of work that has been undertaken by many members of the team. Our new Members Hub (our online service solution which many of you know and are using) was set up in just over a week. The Members Hub is proving to be an excellent source of fantastic information ranging from workout videos, live zoom classes, Invincibles and Les Mills workouts, whilst also providing great Health and Wellbeing tips. Furthermore, there is a wealth of healthy delicious recipes with one or two treats thrown into the mix! If you have not yet visited the Members Hub then it can be found on our Club App as well as on the Club Website www.wellingtonfitness.co.uk/members-hub/

We have had consistently had over 1,000 unique weekly users to the Members Hub and averaging 2,361 active users over a 30-day period.

Our most popular pages are Group Exercise, Healthy Tips and Well-Being. Please, if you are still yet to see what is on offer, then do take a look and let us know what you think. Your feedback is extremely useful to us and you can do this by emailing your comments to hello@wellingtonfitness.co.uk. In addition to the Members Hub information, frequent challenges are also available on our other social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What Else Has Been Happening
Support Service
Whilst closed, the Club is currently operating a creche and childcare service to several of the Wellington College teaching staff children. The College, like all other schools, is offering a fully inclusive virtual teaching experience and for some staff, this is a challenge with toddlers and young children in the background!

Also, several of our staff are, where possible, assisting our College colleagues by undertaking roles such as supporting security with patrolling around the College estate. All other administrative tasks are continued to be worked on with staff working from home.

Maintenance
During this shut down the Club is also undertaking when the opportunity arises to complete some essential maintenance work. Staff are also in periodically to conduct pool plant and equipment checks etc.

Communication
Lastly, staff have been getting in contact with many of you, touching base and checking that all is ok.

The Way Forward
The next Government review is scheduled for 4th July. It is not clear when restrictions may be relaxed or lifted for leisure facilities. There is considerable thought and opinion circulating in the leisure industry on when restrictions may be adjusted ranging from mid-July through to October. There is little and no point in speculating on what we do not know now. We are though, as a management team, looking at and working through multiple scenarios of what may happen in terms of at what point restrictions are lifted and whether they are full or in part.

The leisure industry faces its most significant challenge ever like many other businesses and industries and Wellington is not exempt from the financial impact and pressure this period of closure is presenting. It is likely that we will not have operated for at least four months and this may be extended by another month or two or more. Difficult and challenging days lay ahead.

Upon reopening, nobody can accurately predict what the people’s responses will be when we get a green light to reopen. There is no previous behaviour-modelling to forecast on how people for all leisure facilities will react, especially in the light of no vaccine being readily available in the immediate future. Current information taken from Clubs abroad have experienced anything from a 30 to 50% uptake from their respective membership bases. Data from these Clubs in China, Asia and Scandinavia is being reviewed by our industry, however, there are marked differences in the form of business models and operations. Some of the key information though lies in the feedback that they have provided in what they would now do differently in reopening. Some Clubs that opened in the States early are now filing for bankruptcy. All in all, we are observing and looking to learn from every source and then to create our own bespoke plans based in and around government and industry guidelines.

As soon as guidance is provided by the Government, Public Health England etc. we as Wellington will start to refine our reopening plans. We also recognise that and know that what we say and do now, will not necessarily be what we do and say in the following weeks and months due to the changing landscape of this situation.

What I can and will say is like every other facility we are reviewing and upgrading our cleaning procedures and policies, introducing new systems of work, reviewing our programme of activities, and allowing for the impact of social distancing. I will provide more granular detail over the coming weeks and months outlining precisely what our operational practices and changes are. Pleased be assured that this is our top priority.

Memberships
All membership fees will remain frozen until the appropriate time. If you pay by monthly direct debit, we will advise you of when your first payment is due at the earliest opportunity. If you have an annual membership, this will be extended by the number of months and weeks of the closure. Membership prices will remain at their current level and the annual review and increase has been deferred to early 2021 subject to a range of unknowns.

Tennis Courts
These are to remain closed to members. The reasons being:
1. The College remain in a lockdown status
2. The courts are being used as an outdoor facility for the childcare service we are offering.
3. We cannot offer any internal required facilities such as toilets etc.
4. We are looking to bring forward the court refurbishment programme to an earlier date so that they may be ready for our return or at least have the minimum of the impact of reduced court availability with the work well underway if we return earlier than anticipated.
Golf Course
This facility is closed to all golf members as the college remains in full lock-down status.

Members Survey
We recently sent out a survey to just over 2,100 members. We received 375 completed responses which represent just over a 17% return.

The intention of the survey was to get a temperature check on what members felt about the Members Hub and any early thoughts of how they are feeling about returning to the Club and what their concerns are currently. 64% of Members would return to the Club in the first month of opening. The remaining 36% would return after month two, ensuring we adhere to current social distancing and cleaning guidelines.

An overview of survey results will be made available on a new Tile (called on Looking Forward) on the Members Hub and all our social media platforms by Friday 22nd May. This feedback, although limited, will help shape and formulate our planning. We recognise that it is a small sample size and we will be coming back out again in a few weeks’ time to gain comparison information and data. To those who were able to respond, thank you. Your feedback is very much appreciated and greatly valued.

Thank You
We are all facing and enduring not only work challenges but also personal ones during this unprecedented period of history. It has not been easy for everyone and it will remain challenging for the immediate future. With that said, what has been of tremendous value and importance to all the staff at Wellington has been the lovely, upbeat, and positive comments you have sent in. The staff and I really appreciate and value these and they do make a big impact on our well-being knowing that we are doing our contribution to help you during this time. On behalf of all my staff thank you very much.

Keep active, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all when we can open and when you feel ready to come back.

Ian Davis,
Commercial Manager
21/05/2020

 

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