BGL Team Newsletter - November/December 2023

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BGL Team News

BGL Team News

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On the 14th January 2024 Kate, Sam and some of the staff at The Shropshire will be braving the winter weather and sleeping outside to raise money for veterans who have ended up homeless.

Since 1885, thanks to the public's support, SSAFA continues to provide welfare and wellbeing assistance tailored to our Armed Forces community. They know and understand the unique demands of service life, whether in the UK or overseas, and in times of need, they help to enable the Forces family to thrive. Continued on page 9.

OUR SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENTS For the last decade, Burhill Golf and Leisure has been a sector leader in sustainable golf and climate action. These commitments frame our updated and strengthened strategy. They are aligned to the Sustainable Golf Themes, Action Areas, OnCourse® tracking, Annual Scorecards and 5 yearly Certification provided by GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf. Continued on page 10. 1

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BGL Team News



From Colin Mayes


Development & Internal Promotion BUNKERS Romford Launch Customer Service Training - Swansea Richard Wood - Level 7, Strategic Leadership Employee Of The Quarter


Redbourn GC - Moving On Up Aldwickbury Park GC - Staff News Abbey Hill GC - Baton of Hope Abbey Hill GC - MHFA Spotlight Birchwood Park GC - Megan MIT BGL - Congratulations Julie Martin Hoebridge GC - Woking Theatre Redbourn GC - Charlie Turner Shropshire GC - Winter Sleep Out Fundraising For SSAFA Shropshire GC - Phil Jones Retires as Course Marshall


BGL - Our Sustainability Commitments Wycombe Heights GC - Sustainability


Colleague Initiatives

Robyn Russell-Hughes & Ashley Watts - ACCA Qualifications Introduction to Sophia Federico 5 Years Plus Service


Employee of the Quarter Levelling Up Ninja Warrior Sheffield 2

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BGL Team News Whilst this autumn has been very wet, it didn't seem to put off many of our members and daily visitors and I am delighted to report that the Golf Division will almost certainly make its financial target for 2023 which is a very credible performance given the economic challenges the UK has been suffering.

CEO UPDATE Colin Mayes

Dear Colleagues, We are now well and truly into winter, getting up in the dark and arriving home in the dark!! We have also seen some torrential rain that seems to have affected nearly all parts of the country and certainly many of our golf operations, causing many of our golf courses to be closed at various times. Overall, all our operations have fared reasonably well during the year with our golf business reaching new highs in both memberships and general trading, assisted by our continual investment in our facilities, particularly in new driving range technology which has been a tremendous success wherever we have installed it. The two most recent businesses to take advantage of this investment have been The Shropshire and Thornbury golf centres, both of which are exceeding our expectations. Both sites have worked incredibly hard to ensure this investment has paid off and my thanks go out to both teams that have helped us upgrade our facilities and install the new technology.

Whilst talking about the Golf Division I would like to say a special thank you to some of our hidden heroes who frankly probably do not get the recognition they all deserve. I am talking about the teams of people that are up at the crack of dawn often no matter what the weather is to make sure our core product, our golf courses are in the best possible condition. We sometimes forget that without a great golf course, the customer would just not come. We have some great teams at all of our golf sites led by committed and highly skilled green keepers who nurture the earth's product and present a fine playing surface. As I travel around the business, I often get stopped by members and visitors alike who are only too eager to pass on comments about our operations. Thankfully 95% of the time these are always very positive, with the quality of our golf courses being talked about the most, well done to all our green keeping teams. Along with them are our Course Marshalls who have the task of supervising our members and visitors around the course often a tad quicker than many of them would like to go!!! the course marshalls also have to check that customers have actually paid to play… many would be surprised at the amount of people that try and take advantage often on an early evening when they are hoping we will not have anybody checking!!! Yes, this also happens at Burhill in one of the wealthiest parts of

the country. Finally, the third group are all our accounts, sales, administration, and maintenance teams who work behind the scenes to ensure booking are made, function/wedding businesses are all documented etc, paying the bills and all our salaries and wages and ensuring our facilities are in tip-top condition. Well done to you all for helping the business do what we do so well. Our Adventure Leisure (AL) business has also been expanding again and within this newsletter, you will see the reports of our recent Romford opening in North London. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our new team led by Karl Zabroski and the rest of the AL support team including Andy, Victor, Lauren, Oli, Gaby, Richard from Worcester, Christine from Milton Keynes, Amanda from Basildon and Lisa from Stevenage helping out on the launch night. Lord Iveagh opened the venue with the Romford Lord Mayor. Everybody at the launch party had a very enjoyable night experiencing all the new activities available to them. The business is certainly our best to open so far and with everything we try and do we learn from each new opening and continually improve both the fundamental customer offer and how we present and promote it within the local neighbourhood. Overall, our AL and Ninja Leisure businesses have been performing just below its budget target for the year which we are of course disappointed with, but much of the decline can be explained by the very hard economic times our core customer is experiencing. Most of our customers who visit the AL venues are young families and young adults who, for the majority, are under financial 3

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BGL Team News pressure with rising costs from inflation, interest rates impacting those with mortgages and high fuel and energy costs. It is no surprise therefore that their spending on non-essentials like participating in leisure activities suffers as in such tough times something just has to give. The teams have been reacting to these pressures by offering more incentives to visit our facilities than we have ever done before. We are also in discussions with ITV, our partners in our Ninja Warrior business, about providing more promotional support to encourage higher levels of footfall in the business. Unfortunately, for the first year ever our AL business will miss its annual budget target which is a hard hit for us all within the business and this year whilst the golf business has overperformed its budget it will not be enough to make up the difference of the shortfall within AL. This year has been a tough one for us all particularly dealing with the huge increase we have had to accept on our energy costs. Despite these tough conditions it is clearly disappointing that the whole group will not achieve its target set back in December 2022, but the business remains profitable, and we are still investing in all our businesses to improve our position as we enter 2024. The senior leadership team have been working very hard with all our General Managers working on our budgets for 2024 and we are cautiously optimistic about next year. We have managed to secure new energy pricing that will come into effect from the end of March 2024, and this alone will make a significant difference to our overall profitability. The Board of Directors will consider all these budgets along with our investment plans at

our board meeting in December. Once approved they will then be communicated to each of our General Managers so they can then activate their own individual site plans with you for 2024. We opened three new businesses this year at Norwich, Bristol and Romford and major driving range improvements at Thornbury and The Shropshire along with many other mid / smaller projects all targeted at improving the service/ facilities for our members, guests, and customers. We are also in the process of acquiring some more land to add to one of our golf courses which will allow us further development options in the future, as ever 2023 has proved to be yet another very busy year. I have also been delighted with the progress we are making in several other areas that are very important to us all in developing a successful long-term trading business including; ESG (Environmental, Sustainability and Governance policies within BGL) Early this year Guy Riggott, Simon Percy and our Environment consultant Tony Hanson presented an updated plan to the Board of Directors all centred on our commitments to improve our business performance within the principles of ESG and driving us to reach a net zero emissions target before the government deadline in 2030. All of your senior leadership team and Board of Directors are committed to delivering this for the company ahead of this target. OUR SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENTS For the last decade, Burhill Golf and Leisure has been a sector leader in sustainable golf and climate

action. We are committed over the coming years to achieve our target of being a net zero emissions business before our governments target date currently set for 2030. Read more about our commitments later in the newsletter. Everybody within the business will be working towards improving our environmental targets in the years to come and we are looking forward to keeping you all up to date on our progress. It is my goal that we become the first Golf and Leisure business in the UK to achieve the nett zero emission target for our collective business. Many of you will remember that we were the first golf business in the world for all of our golf course operations to achieve the Worldwide Golf Environmental Organisation (GEO) certified accreditation for each of our courses back in 2015. So, you can see when we set a target, we put our minds to delivering it. Achieving nett zero will need a huge commitment from us all and our Board of Directors to support the costs involved. If we can achieve this, we can all be very proud to be involved in a business that sets such an ambitious target. HRIS (Human Resources Information System) Project We are pleased to confirm that we have signed a contract with a HRIS software provider to introduce a new system for colleagues to use that will include a Human Resources database, Payroll, Recruitment portal, and a Learning Management System. The new system, which is planned to go live in June next year, will give you access to view your personal information and your work rota, request your holiday and see your Payslips all in one place (in a user4

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BGL Team News friendly app). It will also enable us to upgrade our training practices whilst reducing the amount of paperwork involved throughout our business. The investment in this system is c.£250k and really does demonstrate our commitment to providing the best-in-class system to support our GM’s with the recruitment and development of our most important asset to the business i.e. all of us that work within it. The project is being led by Jim Conlan our Finance Director, Emma Camp our Group HR Manager and Julie Martin our Payroll Manager, together with representatives from all sides of our operational business. More information will be shared with colleagues on this project next year. We are now just over a month away to the end of our trading year and December is always a very important month for us in all areas of the business. Our function and events business in all our golf venues transforms itself into major Christmas party locations. We also manage to do the same with many party events being held throughout our Mulligans and Bunkers businesses as people of all ages want to enjoy themselves and start getting into the festive spirit in the run-up to Christmas and New Year's Eve. At these events we all carry quite a responsibility to ensure that everyone visiting our businesses enjoy themselves in a safe and secure environment. For that reason, every year I write to all our General Managers explaining our joint responsibility and reminding them all of the necessity to ensure our venues are safe, and all the teams on duty are trained in emergency procedures and importantly know what to do in the event of emergencies etc. If for any reason you personally feel unsure about any of our emergency

procedures it is essential that you speak directly with your immediate supervisors/manager to ensure that you are confident and know what to do should any emergencies occur. It is also a time to ensure we all keep an eye out for making sure our emergency exits etc are kept clear should our customers and staff need to exit our buildings quickly.

for your contribution as I visit the businesses throughout December and January. Colin Mayes CEO

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody involved with the business for their hard work and efforts throughout the year. 2023 has not been an easy year for any of us involved in the wider hospitality business. Inflation has caused us considerable cost increases in nearly every area of our operation, high interest rates have put our customers under pressure on where they spend their hard-earned wages and salaries and a number of significant world events making the political scene throughout the world far from stable. Within this difficult environment, we have all done our best to manage and steer BGL to the best of our ability and whilst disappointed not to make our overall budget for 2023 we are still in a very strong competitive position as a business. We should therefore look to the future with confidence, we have a very stable business which is on a sound financial footing with opportunities for growth in the year ahead. We are already negotiating on two new sites for next year as I am writing this update. Delivering this success takes a team effort and you should all be proud of a job well done throughout 2023. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy 2024 and I look forward to personally thanking as many of you as possible 5

BGL Team News


NOV/DEC 2023 2022



While a lot of you are now humming the popular

Miranda ties the knot!

song from the 90's sung by the M people, the title refers to two internal promotions from the on-course team at Redbourn. Stuart Giddings, our Course Deputy, has made his first steps into management with his well-deserved promotion to Course Manager at Wycombe Heights. Stuart took pride and care in everything he did at Redbourn and was a wellrespected member of the team. Helping to take care of both the courses and the range, Stuart was instrumental in elevating standards resulting in an increased NPS score, with the most positive comments being related to the course. Stuart, you will be missed…but you still need to return your uniform, please! Off the back of Stuart's promotion, Peter Dear, our First Assistant, has stepped up to take his place and has made a fantastic start, assisting the Course Manager and team in maintaining the standards we have worked so hard to get. With a wealth of knowledge as a greenkeeper and some interesting ideas for course improvement, I look forward to seeing the development of the courses in months to come. Well done both, thoroughly deserved! Robin Cheng

General Manager

Redbourn Golf Club

Congratulations to Aldwickbury Park Administration Controller, Miranda who became Mrs. Abrahams after tying the knot with her husband Andrew on Sunday 10th September 2023.

Aldwickbury greenkeeper Chelcie wins the first-ever iGolf Open! Aldwickbury Park greenkeeper and former Redbourn junior member Chelcie Lawrie had a lot to celebrate after winning England Golf ’s first-ever iGolf Open at Woodhall Spa in August. Competing with 57 other golfers, Chelcie enjoyed brilliant backto-back birdies on holes 17 and 18 to see her pick up the women’s trophy. Chelcie commented in her interview following the round: "It's a nice surprise! It was very up-and-down, but a few decent shots got me into the points. It was a cracking day out and I can't wait to do it all again." Well done, Chelcie, fantastic achievement! Congratulations Maddie! Congratulations to Aldwickbury Park Sales Executive, Maddie Richardson who graduated from Brunel University recently with a BSc Hons in Sociology. Maddie has been working hard to get the last of her work finished off in her spare time since joining the sales team earlier in the year. 6

BGL Team News

NOV/DEC 2023 2022


BATON OF HOPE - ABBEY HILL GC The Baton of Hope travelled through Milton

Keynes on the 4th July as part of a nationwide mission to start a conversation around suicide and how we approach suicide prevention. As the outreach lead for the Milton Keynes branch of Samaritans, Clair from Abbey Hill was asked to be a part of the day and deliver a presentation at the Milton Keynes Rose in Campbell Park. She delivered a message of hope and support for the initiative and then spent the day escorting the baton around Milton Keynes with the rest of the team. The baton travelled to many of the key areas of the city and was even driven around the Red Bull Racing campus by Daniel Ricciardo. The day finished at the Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake before making its way to Brighton and then onto London for its final stop, Downing Street where organisers were meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss their strategy on suicide prevention.

MHFA SPOTLIGHT - ABBEY HILL GC MHFA Spotlight on Clair Roberts, Senior Wedding, Membership and Events Co-ordinator 1. What first interested you in training as an MHFA (Mental Helath First Aider)? When the opportunity to become a mental health first aider arose in 2021, I jumped at the chance to support my team. Mental health is something that I have been interested in for a long time and when Abbey Hill asked if I would like to be there for the team, I was ecstatic. Everyone has mental health and I felt that it was important that we were able to offer up more direct support when someone’s mental health takes a dip. I was attracted to the role as not only would I be able to offer this support to the team in their time of need, but to also spend more time out with our team and get to know them. When we spend more time with the team, we get to know them better and in turn can spot the signs when someone perhaps isn’t feeling themselves. 2. What are the three key skills to be an effective MHFA? There are so many skills that you learn throughout the process but initially, you need to be compassionate, trustworthy, and perhaps the most important of them all, non-judgemental. 3. What top tips would you pass on to a new MHFA? My top tips for anyone considering becoming a mental health first aider would be… • Listen, you may think you are listening, but active listening is a completely different skill. Making someone feel heard in their darkest times is a Continued on the next page. 7

BGL Team News

• •


privilege so ensure you are giving them your all when they are sharing their thoughts and feelings with you. Make yourself available, your team need to know that you are available when they need you. Be supportive, be consistent and be nonjudgemental.

4. What would you say to a colleague who is struggling with their mental health and hasn’t reached out to anyone for help?

Please talk to someone. There is always someone who is there to listen whilst you unpack your thoughts. You may not want to share all the details, however, giving your MHFA a glimpse of what’s happening can help them signpost you to an organisation that you can be more open with. We are also very lucky to have an EAP, if you don’t feel comfortable talking then you can head there for more targeted support. And finally, your MHFA will always have the time to spend with you, so please go to them.


I started at Birchwood Park in 2018 as an F&B

Assistant after my dad encouraged me to get a job for the summer while I was home from university. I continued part-time work over the summer and Christmas breaks until September 2019 when I decided to go full-time, and soon after I started a new role as a Team Leader.

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for me. So, when the position came up in June, I was very keen to apply as I felt it was a great opportunity for me to build on what I have already gained from my experience at Birchwood Park and prepare for the next steps in my career. I had to make a short video of why I wanted the role and why I thought I would be a good fit for it and then attend an assessment day with both group and solo activities. I am most excited to see other aspects of the business that I haven’t had a chance to explore yet and learn what it means to be a GM. This is not something that I would have predicted for myself when I joined Birchwood in 2018, but I am so pleased with where this path has led me and I'm excited for where it will take me next. It just proves that you should try hard at whatever you do even if it is just a part-time job because who knows where it could take you.


Julie was one of nine

shortlisted nominees for this year’s ‘Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals Bright Beginnings Award’ eventually outshining the rest! The awards were announced and presented by the Ben Shephard of all people! Julie is close to finishing her Level 3 CIPP qualification. Please join us in congratulating Julie for this achievement. Unfortunately, Julie wasnt able to make it to the awards ceremony, but Helen (pictured) was there to accept the award on her behalf.

After some unwanted breaks due to the pandemic… in April 2021 we returned to a newly done-up TrackMan driving range and what I saw as a new opportunity for myself. I have been at the range since. I first started as a Hospitality Supervisor and then progressed to my most recent role, Range Hospitality Manager position in October 2022. During my time at the range, I started to have conversations about my PDP and what an MIT position involved/how it could be a good next step for me. So, when the 8

BGL Team News


WOKING THEATRE - HOEBRIDGE GC We welcomed the cast of the New Victoria Theatre,Woking Panto – Peter Pan, on the morning of the 8th of September. Starring Anton Du Bec and Paul Chuckle. They were all in full costume, including the obligatory Dame, playing a round of golf on AG whilst having their photos taken for their promo. We managed to grab a sneaky photo with Anton Du Bec before they left.

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CHARLIE TURNER - REBOURN GC Charlie Turner started at Redbourn in June 2020 as a Retail

Assistant following a stint as a Greenkeeper at Moor Park. Charlie quickly showed his passion for customer service in the shop and was promoted to Retail Supervisor after less than 6 months. Assisting the team in a very difficult and testing time through COVID restrictions, Charlie soon started to stand out via his can-do attitude and his passion for improving. It was this attitude that led to his promotion in October 2023 to Golf Operations Manager and overseeing the department he started working in three years prior. Having been mentored by Steve Hunter, the previous Head Pro of 27 years, Charlie is now looking forward to developing the team and helping progress Redbourn as a club. On a personal level, he and his fiancée have recently celebrated the birth of their first child. He has handled two big changes in his life very well with the help of copious amounts of energy drinks. Massive congratulations to Charlie. A great example of someone who reaped what they sow.


BGL Team News


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some of the staff will be braving the winter weather and sleeping outside to raise money for veterans who have ended up homeless. Since 1885, thanks to the public's support, SSAFA continues to provide welfare and wellbeing assistance tailored to our Armed Forces community. They know and understand the unique demands of service life, whether in the UK or overseas, and in times of need, they help to enable the Forces family to thrive. Please donate or share to support this fundraiser: page/theshropshiresleepout

Phil Jones – Course Marshall, Retires from The Shropshire GC On behalf of all the staff at The Shropshire, we would like to say a huge thank you and a very happy retirement to Phil Jones. For all he has done over his 19 years of service as our Course Marshall and Resident Santa Claus. At 84 years young he is a testament to hard work and dedication throughout his time with us and will be missed by all the staff and members alike. We look forward to seeing him at the club, relaxing and enjoying himself, and continuing to enjoy his other passions such as choir singing. Best wishes for the future from all of us!


BGL Team News


OUR SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENTS For the last decade, Burhill Golf and Leisure has been a sector leader in sustainable golf and climate action. These commitments frame our updated and strengthened strategy. They are aligned to the Sustainable Golf Themes, Action Areas, OnCourse® tracking, Annual Scorecards and five yearly Certification provided by GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf. Expert implementation support is provided by Tony Hanson, ESI. 1. PLANNING, POLICIES AND PROCUREMENT • •

Including environmental considerations as an integral element of all procurement decisions Engaging with our supply chain to identify and reduce the environmental impacts of our purchases through collaboration.

Meeting or exceeding all environmental legislation applicable to your operations.


• • •

Where possible, influencing our patrons to help reduce environmental impacts created.

Seeking to reduce the amount of waste to landfill building the waste hierarchy (Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Eliminate) into standard management practices across the entire organisation.

Continue to protect and enhance habitats and biodiversity across sites. Manage turf responsibly and sustainability and for plant health and playing quality, not purely aesthetics, avoid pollution risks. Enhance the natural environment through sympathetic management and enhance the benefits of Carbon Sequestration and Natural Capital Value.


To use facilities management to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and take decisions that include consideration to embedded carbon, sustainability impacts of projects, and the environmental commitments of contractors.

Reviewing the quantity of water consumed on site and ensure efficient use through stakeholder engagement and a regular planned maintenance programme and reviewing alternative sustainable water sources.


Minimising emissions from all sources of energy by improving operational efficiency, planned maintenance, and encouraging members, staff, visitors and suppliers to help reduce consumption and reviewing renewable opportunities.


2. STAFF AND GOLFER ENGAGEMENT Engaging with our staff and patrons to encourage actions and suggestions to help improve our sustainability and create a team spirit.

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Continue to diversify products and services to be accessible, thereby providing health and wellbeing benefits to as wide an audience as possible. Continue to outreach into communities with education, recreation, charity and volunteering opportunities. Increase levels of communications with golfers and communities to help drive wider behaviour change.


Track and update annual sustainability performance indicators in OnCourse® programme

Create annual individual facility Sustainability Scorecards and Carbon Reports Create annual Burhill Group Sustainability Review

Feed relevant information into annual SERC reporting Creating an annual Carbon Balance sheet


BGL Team News


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Close Loop Wash Pad – using recycled water to wash equipment, also preventing any cleaning materials being absorbed into the ground and affecting the local habitat.

In 2021, we invested £350,000 to build this 12,000 metre cubed reservoir to emable us to irrigate our courses via renewable sources.


BGL Team News

Adventure Leisure

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At Adventure & Ninja Leisure, we are fully

committed to developing our people and internal promotion. From internal training schemes to development courses and degrees, we are passionate about levelling up our team members and helping them achieve their professional goals. Did you know that Adventure & Ninja Leisure has seen:

particularly ‘Pride’ in the workforce, which are the keystone to our success. The Multi-Site manager role will strengthen Adventure Leisure and promote collaboration across multiple businesses, driving sales by sharing innovative ideas maximising the potential within our teams and delivering growth.”

Quote from Christine Sparks:

• • • • • •

1 Team Member progressed to General Manager 4 Team Members progress to Assistant General Manager 41 Team Members progress to Supervisor 12 Supervisors to Duty Managers

15 Duty Managers progress to Assistant General Manager 5 Team Members progress to Administrators

3 Assistant General Managers progress to General Managers

As part of our commitment to the development of Adventure Leisure & Ninja Leisure, we have recently seen the introduction of multi-site managers. These roles are now held by Christine Sparks and Richard Wood, previously General Managers of Mulligans Milton Keynes and Mulligans Worcester. These roles include overseeing the operational management of multiple Adventure Leisure brands and venues as well as working with the General Managers at each venue, to provide training and support, alongside driving venue performance and customer experience forward. Richard Wood says:

“Developing the new role as a Multi-Site manager within Adventure Leisure is an exciting opportunity to work with operational teams and support office. Providing support and development which demonstrates a commitment to our core values

“The new multi-site manager roles offer the ability for experienced GMs like Richard and myself to not only expand and develop our professional skills but pass key knowledge and skills on to our incredible group of venues. Consistently allowing the group to raise the bar on what we provide our teams and our customers. Having opened over 15 venues, I’m delighted to see the way Adventure Leisure has grown and developed its people and their commitment to developing the team further.” Throughout the business, there have been even more promotions in 2023 including Chennel Murray, from Crew Member to Assistant General Manager at Mulligans Cheltenham. Ruby Way from Kitchen Assistant to Assistant General Manager at Mr Mulligans Bournemouth, and Martin Conner from Sales Manager to Assistant General Manager at Mulligans Worcester. “Ruby first came to the company four years ago as a 17-year-old part-time Kitchen Assistant. In that time, she has progressively advanced through various roles, including Team Member, Supervisor and Sales Manager. She has played a key role in developing the site operationally and had a big impact on the current design of the venue. It is Ruby’s passion, hard work and eye for detail that helped secure this new role.” Pascal Longhurst, General Manager Mulligans Bournemouth. Continued on the next page. 13

BGL Team News

Adventure Leisure

“Since Chennel joined Adventure Leisure in September 2017, she has gone from strength to strength within the Cheltenham branch. Working her way up from Team Member to Assistant General Manager. I am super proud of Chennel and her development within the company so far and look forward to supporting and coaching her towards the GM level. Looking at Chennel and her growth within the business shows all our employees just what can be achieved when you put your mind to something.” “Martin Conner was promoted to AGM at Worcester in December last year, previously Martin held the position of Sales Manager at Birmingham. As well as transferring and learning his new role, Martin has embarked on his level 4 apprenticeship in hospitality management developing his leadership skills to positively influence our people and businesses.” Did you know about NVQs? Whether you are a part of Adventure Leisure, Ninja Leisure or Golf Division, you can study a wide range of courses from Hospitality to Production Chef training. Interested? Have a chat with your GM today.

CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING IN SWANSEA In the constant desire to improve, both Ninja Warrior UK Swansea and BUNKERS! Swansea took part in customer service training in September. This included going through NPS scores, mystery shopping and general compliance. To add a bit of fun and competition to the day, the staff at BUNKERS! took part in a bar challenge which also highlighted the importance of a perfect pour. Each team member was put to the test to see if they could free-pour a perfect pour. There were some very good efforts and some left to be desired…but, overall a fun and informative day!

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RICHARD WOOD Richard Wood, newly promoted to Multi-Site Manager looking after Worcester, Cheltenham and Bristol, recently completed his Masters Degree in Strategic Leadership. This was a degree apprenticeship programme through Newcastle University, sponsored by Adventure Leisure. Areas of study included Leadership Theory, Future of Work, Innovation and Change and Strategic Accountability. Richard is looking forward to applying his newly developed skills and knowledge to help with the growth of Adventure Leisure. When asked what advice he’d give to anyone else looking to take an apprenticeship qualification, Richard replied “BGL offers an opportunity to everybody to develop their skills, knowledge and behaviours whilst working in their chosen field, whether it’s Hospitality Management, Administration, or Sustainability. It doesn’t matter what age you are or how academic you have been in the past, we can all develop ourselves and use this to positively impact our businesses, and the people around us.”


BGL Team News

Adventure Leisure

BUNKERS ROMFORD LAUNCH Adventure Leisure has just celebrated the launch of

their second BUNKERS venue. Opening on Thursday 9th November, BUNKERS Romford welcomed over 350 guests for their launch party. The team opened their doors to an eager crowd of ticket holders for the night, and delivered an incredible launch night, with local press, the Lord Mayor and a selection of local London influencers in attendance.

Located in Romford’s The Brewery, BUNKERS Romford is the largest indoor adventure leisure venue to date, totalling an impressive 22,000 sq ft. To match the size of the venue, Adventure Leisure working with renowned leisure agency Shed, designed an incredible venue filled with bold designs, an amazing neon archway and the incredible ‘bunker bar’. BUNKERS also saw a brand refresh and a new website to match the brand-new venue. BUNKERS is the latest development in Adventure Leisure’s unstoppable growth plans. The venue offers players of all ages a reason to escape with two neverseen-before crazy golf courses, electro-darts, deck shuffle, pool, ping pong, shuffleboard, VR gaming, arcade and much more.

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At the heart of BUNKERS are elevated crazy golf courses which feature theming such as queen of hearts, neon desert graveyards, Studio 54, dystopian TV-scapes, trippy black holes, a Japanese bodega and much more! “BUNKERS will represent the perfect venue which gives visitors a reason to escape and enjoy time with friends and family alike - come day or night. Totalling over 20,000 square feet, guests can expect to be welcomed into an impressive facility with a host of activities on offer for all.” – Andy Scholey, Adventure Leisure.

“BUNKERS is like nothing you have ever seen before. The venue has amazing gaming areas, almost like individual districts. Each one offers its own vibe for players to enjoy. There’s something for every visitor, from amazing games to food and drink, offering a real reason for everyone to escape to BUNKERS.” – Lauren Price, Adventure Leisure. A massive congratulations to Karl and the Romford crew for their incredible work in making the launch party such a success. The team provided amazing service and teamwork to provide the best venue launch to date. Additionally, a huge thank you to Christine Sparks, Richard Wood, Lisa Almond, Amanda Rolland and their teams for providing amazing support in the leadup to and during Romford’s opening. To check out more of BUNKERS Romford you can find them on socials @BUNKERSRomford or check out the website here:


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BGL Team News

Adventure/Ninja Leisure


WINNER, Sarah Brooks - Sidcup Sarah is one of our Supervisors, she joined the team in January this year.

RUNNER-UP, Finn Rolfe - Ninja MK

Sarah sets the bar extremely high when it comes to Customer Service. She has consistently great feedback from parties, groups and visitors in general – all mentioning her ability to make them feel special and go the extra mile to make their visit amazing.

Since joining our team as a Marshal, Finn has consistently demonstrated an exceptional level of proactiveness, dedication, and a strong commitment to learning and improving.

Since starting with us she has been responsible for running the front-of-house side of our events and has now trained the party team to follow in her footsteps.

We noticed Finn straight away when he was dealing with the first aid of two children colliding and banging their heads, where he was doing concussion tests, the parents were truly impressed.

Sarah also puts together our half-term/school holiday quizzes and arts and crafts activities to keep the kids entertained – which has the added benefit of increasing the dwell time of the parents!! We have wanted to nominate Sarah for recognition for the last few months so have taken this opportunity to get her name in lights and show our appreciation.

Finn's dedication to learning the various facets of our business has been truly impressive. He has taken it upon himself to acquire a deep understanding of our industry, our processes, and our customers' needs. This commitment to continuous learning has not only enhanced his skills but has also contributed to our team's overall knowledge and effectiveness. Continued on the next page. 16

BGL Team News

Ninja Leisure

NOV/DEC 2023 2022

ALL NOMINEES Mulligans Basildon: Michelle Watling Mulligans Birmingham: Frankie Burden-Dunne Mulligans Bournemouth: Ella Senior Mulligans Bristol: Jenny Bush Mulligans Cheltenham: Charlie Webb IN THIRD, Dan Murray - BUNKERS Swansea

Mulligans MK: Belinda Managan

Dan has been with us since the beginning of May and has been a credit to the company ever since. When he first started, he was a shy boy who was scared to move out of his comfort zone; now Dan is emerging as a leader and one of our longest-serving staff members.

Mulligans Newcastle: Chloe Saich

Dan is loved by staff and customers alike, often helping new starters learn and getting mentioned in NPS surveys. Dan suffered from a medical emergency earlier in the year but was in contact with us and keen to get back to work throughout the whole ordeal; coming back as soon as he was fit to return. Dan often offers help by staying later than his shift, covering other shifts, and coming in early to make sure the rest of the team is covered. He is very much a team player and has been complimented for his hard work by each member of management.

Mulligans Stevenage: Noah Bradshaw

His dry sense of humour, dulcet tone and impromptu one-liners often have the team and customers in stitches; he can make anyone laugh without even trying.

Mulligans Norwich: Amelia Micklewright

Mulligans Worcester: Andrew Smith Total Ninja Manchester: Leah Bolton NWUK Sheffield: Ruth Fowles NWUK Southampton: Eva Barta NWUK Swansea: Neve Jewell-March


BGL Team News

NOV/DEC 2023 2022

AL, Ninja & Support Office

LEVELLING UP NINJA WARRIOR UK SHEFFIELD In October, Ninja Warrior UK Sheffield underwent a major course refurbishment. This included a brand-new inflatable which was reduced by a third of the original to make room for two new modules on the fixed course and a new wall! The new modules were designed off the back of customer feedback that the original course was too difficult as well as being too high for smaller and younger ninjas to reach. Therefore, the two new modules were made to be more diverse in challenging aspects such as balance, strength and agility, combined with being lower so that all ninjas can attempt the course. With the addition of eight obstacles and a new, lower wall, Ninja Warrior UK Sheffield has created a stateof-the-art ninja training zone – ready for those new and novice ninjas to conquer before moving on to the original course that was designed to be more challenging. Overall, the feedback we have received has been positive and customers are happy with the changes to the courses.


BGL Team News

Support Office

NOV/DEC 2023 2022

COLLEAGUE-RELATED INITIATIVES Hello Colleagues I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some colleague-related initiatives that the People Team have been working on. Firstly, I hope you watched the Panel Discussion on Mental Health that was sent to colleagues on World Mental Health Day (10th October). It highlighted some of the support options available to our colleagues, I hope you found it informative and supportive. Over the last few months, we have been creating our People Strategy for the next two years. This was presented at the Board Meeting in September and will be shared with General Managers over the coming weeks.

If you would like to share any feedback with the People Team on any of the initiatives above, please do so at admin. Emma Camp Group HR Manager

ROBYN AND ASHLEY - ACCA Robyn Russell-Hughes and Ashley Watts are very excited to announce that they have both successfully been elected as full members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). It has taken many years of juggling work, family, studying and building work experience to achieve the qualification and they are both over the moon to have finally received their certificates! The purpose of the People Strategy is to ensure we are attracting, recruiting, developing, and rewarding our colleagues in the right way to increase colleague engagement and retention. It provides the organisation with a plan for how we look after our biggest asset – our people. I’m also pleased to share that we have updated the Employee Handbook, and the new version will be sent to colleagues shortly. We are hoping that you find the new version simplified, and user-friendly, whilst up to date with legislative changes.

Ashley Watts on becoming ACCA qualified: "The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification was something I started at university, alongside my Accounting with Finance degree. I chose specific modules whilst at university to gain the maximum number of exemptions towards the ACCA qualification. I then studied whilst working at BGL to complete the remaining exams and gain the relevant work experience needed to become an ACCA member. The qualification took almost 7 years to complete and now means I am a fully qualified Accountant”


BGL Team News

NOV/DEC 2023 2022

Support Office



I started as Social Media Executive for AL and NL at the start of October this year, being thrown in at the deep end with the opening of BUNKERS Romford, just 6 weeks into the role but, it was a blast!

Hello Colleagues, I started as HR Coordinator in the middle of August of this year and have already had the pleasure of speaking with colleagues from different sites across Golf, Ninja, and Adventure Leisure. Thank you for your warm welcome! A little bit about me… I live in Hampshire with my boyfriend in a home we renovated ourselves in 2021. I am a huge advocate for ‘body balance’ which is a mix of yoga, pilates, balance and meditation. I come from a big Sicilian family, we speak loudly and with our hands – it’s normal for us, I promise! Before joining BGL, I worked in a dual role for over three years at MMS360 (Media agency) as PA to MD & HR Coordinator and its sister company Jango Communications as HR Officer. During my time there, I sourced and introduced their first-ever HR System and rolled this out across both businesses. In addition to this, I managed the employee lifecycle, and employee relations and introduced ways to improve employee wellbeing. In 2022, I completed my Level 3 CIPD Certification in People Practice, and in October of this year, I completed my Level 5 CIPD Diploma in People Management. I am very excited to now apply all my experience and knowledge by being a part of the People Team and being part of BGL’s growth and success!

I have moved down to sunny Surrey from a tiny town called Sleaford in Lincolnshire, to live with my boyfriend who moved down here for work about a year ago, and despite what my new colleagues like to tell me… I am not Northern!

Before moving down here I worked for Lincolnshire Coop as a Communications Co-ordinator, which involved all things website and social media. I previously studied Photography at Lincoln University and worked in a busy student bar for 3 years as staff, supervisor, and assistant manager so I am thrilled to be back in the leisure industry. It’s been great to meet so many of you so far, and I look forward to meeting new names and faces as we move into the new year! Gaby,

Social Media Executive (AL & NL)

I look forward to working with you all. Sophia, HR Coordinator

Continued on the next page. 20

BGL Team News

Long Service

NOV/DEC 2023 2022


28 yrs

Ramsdale Park GC

Daniel Breen

18 yrs

Hoebridge GC

Thomas Wilson

17 yrs

Ramsdale Park GC

Anthony Perez-Gonzalez

14 yrs


John Law

13 yrs

Birchwood Park GCC

Jill Preece

12 yrs

The Shropshire GC

Kevin Jones

12 yrs

Abbey Hill GC

Amanda Johnson

11 yrs

Mulligans Milton Keynes

Andrew Scholey

10 yrs

Support Office BGL

Nicola Dodds

8 yrs

Burhill GC

Timothy Good

8 yrs

Thornbury GC

Katie Burgess

7 yrs

The Shropshire GC

Rachel Mitchell

7 yrs

Support Office BGL

Bradley Meager

7 yrs

Birchwood Park GC

Elaine Williams

7 yrs

Birchwood Park GCC

Soniya Shahzaib

6 yrs

Wycombe Heights GC

William Davies

6 yrs

Ramsdale Park GC

Conrad Kingsley

5 yrs

Mulligans Birmingham

Shauna Jones

5 yrs

Mulligans Newcastle

Susan Steedman

5 yrs

Birchwood Park GCC

Lewis Marlow

6 yrs

Mulligans Cheltenham

Chennel Murray

6 yrs

Mulligans Cheltenham

Hannah Maw

6 yrs

Mulligans Cheltenham


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