A LEISURE centre has scooped a host of prizes at a recent awards bash.
Staff at Falaise Fitness Centre were celebrating after the venue won a string of accolades at the Own Grown award ceremony at Sussex Coast College.
The Freedom Leisure operated centre was named the Best Medium-sized Business for its overall work helping young people into employment and Naomi Peachey, who is employed at the centre, also won the award for the best achievement by an individual aged 22+.
Falaise Fitness Centre was praised for demonstrating exceptional support for local young people over the last four years by offering a variety of work placements. In July 2013 eight youngsters from secondary schools including St Leonards Academy and St Richard’s Catholic College in nearby Bexhill spent a week at the centre and gained experience in paperwork, sales and cleaning. They also had the opportunity to try out classes and received an induction to the fitness equipment on offer.
More recently, seven young people from Hastings College gained experience in the fitness side of the centre, helping to plan classes and supporting the centre’s personal training programme, as well as assisting with the operational side of the business.
Nicole White, Freedom Leisure’s operations manager at Falaise Fitness Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be part of the Own Grown programme. It has proved hugely successful for the centre and has enabled us to provide young people in Hastings with invaluable work experience and a unique insight into the leisure industry. The Freedom Leisure team have really enjoyed sharing their knowledge and expertise with the youngsters and consequently we’ve made an ongoing arrangement with both Hastings and Rother job centres to offer rolling one-month placements.
“We will continue to work with local schools and colleges as well to help develop youngster’s skill sets and help them fulfil their potential.”
Cllr Peter Chowney, Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration, added: “The work opportunities offered to young people by Falaise Fitness Centre are excellent. Many individuals have been given the chance to extend their work placement period by showing dedication and commitment and it shows that Falaise is serious about investing in young people. I urge other businesses to work with the Own Grown scheme in this way, both to benefit their own business, and to assist young people on their way to successful employment.” Visit www.owngrown.org.uk.