This meant we started the ball rolling four days before lockdown and actually launched our first class on the Friday night as Boris Johnson was announcing lockdown. We ran 100 classes a week with staff working voluntarily and opened it up free of charge to anyone who wanted to take part – not just members. Our team really took hold of what we were doing and it developed into a real lockdown community with cooking demonstrations, quiz nights, hair cutting demos – to be honest, whatever you needed while locked down, was there! We did two million views over the duration of the first lockdown and it’s still going strong now, but as a subscription service. Two of our online instructors were diagnosed with breast cancer during the lockdowns and so we did 24 hours of classes in November 2020 and raised £5k for a breast cancer charity.
What did you get up to while facilities were closed? We used the lockdowns to re-evaluate and look at how we could improve the business. All the conversations were around what can we do better and how can we improve things.
Are you targeting new markets now we’re open? Spa and wellness are booming for us and within our 50 hotel sites, around 20 now have spas and are on full-service contracts with us. As a result, we now have a group spa manager and for corporate clients we have a product called Wellness 360 which is a package of all the elements of wellness – mind-body, fitness, rewards etc and each corporate client can decide which elements they take.
Photos: 3d Leisure
The 3d Leisure team is celebrating 30 years’ in business
We put in place online training and overhauled all our systems. We expected to have to cut back as a result of the pandemic and wanted to make ourselves more efficient to be able to cope. As it turns out, we haven’t had to cut back, but we’ve still had the benefit of the efficiencies. We also put all our corporate managers through mental health first aid, which was invaluable. We used Facebook to keep in touch with staff to reassure them, as well as doing things such as staff quiz nights and issuing newsletters. As a result, 86 per cent of staff said the company had offered great support during the lockdowns to help them manage their mental health.