Wave Leisure Trust upskill their workforce
Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) and East Sussex Sight Loss Council (SLC) have supported Wave Leisure Trust to upskill its staff to support blind and partially sighted (BPS) people in East Sussex to get more active.
TPT and East Sussex SLC delivered visual impairment (VI) training to staff from across eight leisure centres at Downs Leisure Centre in Seaford on 7 September 2022.
The training is designed to support those working within leisure, sports and physical activity environments to provide more inclusive facilities. Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Head of Sport and Leisure, Martin Symcox, delivered the training. Dave Smith, South East SLC Engagement Manager, and East Sussex SLC member Cyril Thomas, supported the sessions and shared their lived experience.
From left to right: Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Head of Sport and Leisure, Martin Symcox; Wave Leisure Trust’s Training Manager Andrew Grosvenor; and Dave Smith, South East SLC Engagement Manager, stood outside Downs Leisure Centre
About the training
The training gave an overview of the challenges and barriers faced by BPS people. This included the challenges BPS people face with accessing the website and mobile app, and when physically attending and navigating the centre.
Additional topics included:
- Communicating effectively
- Ensuring the environment is safe and accessible
- How to support and guide blind and partially sighted people around a leisure facility.
The practical aspect of the course then allowed participants to wear simulation spectacles which simulate various eye conditions. This is to help staff understand the challenges and wider experiences of BPS people navigating around a leisure centre.
Image shows Wave Leisure Trust taking it in turns to wear simulation spectacles and act as sighted guides.
Dave Smith, South East SLC Engagement Manager, explained:
“This training is a perfect example of what our Sight Loss Councils are seeking to achieve; working with local organisations to affect local change for blind and partially sighted people across the region.”
Martin Symcox, Head of Sport and Leisure at TPT, added:
“It is clear that Wave Leisure Trust is striving to make their leisure centres as accessible as possible and keen to encourage more blind and partially sighted users to its facilities.
“Staff are aware that even small adjustments to facilities can make a huge difference in supporting blind and partially sighted people to access opportunities and to be more active.”
Andy Grosvenor, Training Manager for Wave Leisure Trust, said:
“The Sight Loss Council training team was brilliant. They really helped to create a positive atmosphere in which our staff could learn and ask any questions.
“Our staff team who attended all really enjoyed the session. We learnt how we can create more inclusive facilities and support our blind and partially sighted customers and members.”
Free online resource for leisure centre staff
TPT has worked with UK Coaching to develop a free online resource for customer-facing leisure centre staff. This is aimed to increase the accessibility of their centre for BPS people.
This training was a supplement to this resource.
Publication date: 27 September 2022