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News


September 2019

Left to right: Peter Davis, Leisure Services Manager, Shropshire Council and PC Paul Downes, West Mercia Police Force

 

Shropshire leisure trust backs anti-violence, anti-verbal abuse campaign

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust (SCLT) has staged a local launch for operating partner Serco’s Respect and Protect campaign, a zero tolerance policy towards any violence, aggression or abuse directed against staff delivering front line local services. The event held at Oswestry Leisure Centre on September 6th was attended by representatives from Shropshire Council, West Mercia Police Force and team members from across SCLT’s leisure centres.

SCLT’s Contract Manager, Chris Stanbrook said:

“We want our teams to know that every incident of verbal or physical abuse has to be reported. And we want those making these threats or carrying out these acts to know that we will support our people all the way and, where necessary, involve enforcement agencies.”

“In 2017 and 2018, across the SCLT contract, we had less than ten documented incidents in each of those years. However, we are always vigilant to the fact that people may not have reported the event, shrugging it off as ‘part of the job’ - we want it made clear, this kind of anti-social behaviour is never just part of the job. We want to see every single instance of verbal or physical abuse directed towards our staff reported, investigated and dealt with in the appropriate manner.”

Officer Paul Downes of West Mercia Police Force commented:

“West Mercia Police Force fully support Serco’s important Respect and Protect campaign, and we can only reiterate what SCLT Contract Manager, Chris Stanbrook has said, and urge people to report incidents and never to suffer in silence.”

A Charter of Protection has been agreed between Serco and its customers, which aims to raise awareness and increase understanding of violence, aggression and abuse at work, and to provide a framework of response to identify, prevent and manage such issues. These measures include fostering a culture of zero tolerance, encouraging reporting, supporting police investigations where appropriate, and non-acceptance of unwarranted behaviour, together with specific training and support.

The ‘Respect and Protect’ Campaign was successfully piloted last year when Serco and Sandwell Council in the West Midlands joined unions and police in a unified approach to reduce the increasing number of employees on our Environmental Services contract being subjected to assaults, threats, abusive and insulting behaviour by members of the public.

Oswestry Leisure Centre is one of five facilities run by Serco Leisure in Shropshire on behalf of the Shropshire Community Leisure Trust. For more information about the trust, visit its website: https://www.shropshireleisurecentres.com/

 

 


From left to right: Curly & Zoe, Leo & Zoe

Brave Swimmer Zoe Showing Cerebral Palsy Who’s the Boss!

Zoe Goode (7) was born 4 months prematurely, weighing only 1lb 8oz. She suffered a brain haemorrhage in the first few days after her birth and has cerebral palsy as a result of this. She also has learning difficulties and is moderately deaf. None of this has stopped her from learning to swim though. But she couldn’t have done it without a swimming teacher called Curly.

It may say Karen Rogers on her driving licence, but if you know her, you know to call her Curly. That’s what the thousands of grateful swimming lesson kids have called her for the past 34 years. Curly just goes about her work, changing lives and teaching a skill that will last a lifetime, and she’s been vital to Zoe’s progress in the pool.

Over the last 12 months, Zoe has progressed through the lower stages 1, 2 and 3 and just last month was moved up to stage 4. She’s done it all on her own merit, not letting her disability get in the way, and is now swimming on her front with both arms over the water.

Zoe’s mum Sally said:

“As her parents, my husband and I are just bursting with pride.  She just keeps on smiling, persevering and achieving, showing her cerebral palsy and deafness exactly who’s the boss!

“Zoe started swimming lessons at another swimming pool in July 2016, when she was 5 years old. She was in a Stage 1 class but she struggled in the lessons due to her physical disabilities and deafness. Also, as it was not a learner pool, things were much harder for her. After a number of months, and very little progress, Zoe moved to have lessons at Oswestry Leisure Centre in March 2017 with Karen Rogers in the Alpha Classes. Immediately, she started to make progress.

“Karen was able to spend time with Zoe in the smaller class size to build her confidence and to understand her physical limitations and communication issues due to her deafness.

We are so thankful that Zoe has the opportunity to have swimming lessons with the best swimming teacher ever, Karen ‘Curly’ Rogers at the fantastic swimming facility at Oswestry Leisure Centre. ‘Curly’ is simply fantastic!”

Alison Wright, the Facilities Manager at Oswestry has known Zoe’s mum Sally for over 8 years, and has closely followed the young swimmer’s progress, said:

“We’re proud of all our swim teachers, but Curly exemplifies exactly the kind of dedication and empathy we expect from all our aquatics people.

“Zoe’s progress has been nothing short of remarkable; she tries so hard and never gives up. She’s a great example to kids everywhere and a real credit to her proud mum and dad, Sally and John

“Zoe’s younger brother, Leo is also learning with Curly at Oswestry. He’s only 4 years old, but he’s already nearing completion of Level 3 - a real pair of Shropshire swimming stars.”

 

 

 


 

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