Published: Fri 26 June, 2020
Staff members from Everyone Active have swapped exercise bikes, fitness classes and swimming lessons for high vis jackets, gloves and bins to support North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) recycling and waste service.
Everyone Active run two leisure centres in the district, in partnership with NWLDC. Both facilities temporarily closed in March in order to follow Government guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Fourteen Everyone Active employees were redeployed to the council’s Waste Services team in some capacity. Six have been out in the district completing recycling and refuse collections and supporting the council’s recycling depot. A further eight undertook training to be deployed when required. All have played their part in helping the council cover waste collections from over 46,000 households.
The redeployment has been a key factor in keeping collections going with a number of the usual team needing to be shielded from Covid-19, and therefore unable to work.
Alex Harrap, a Swimming Teacher at Everyone Active, has been working as a Recycling and Refuse Collector. He said: “It’s been a good experience supporting the council’s recycling and waste service.
“Although I’m not used to the early starts and longer working days, you settle into a routine quite quickly and there is a nice rhythm to each day.
“I didn’t realise the significance of the role I was playing until I saw all the messages of thanks we have received from the public - it’s been nice to feel appreciated. One of my friends even said they would be clapping for me on a Thursday night!
“I’m really pleased to have been able to help the council and North West Leicestershire communities during these unprecedented times.”
Councillor Robert Ashman, Deputy Leader of NWLDC, said: “We’ve faced many challenges during this pandemic and working in partnership with Everyone Active and their staff has been hugely important in enabling us to continue delivering key services.
“The work ethic and teamwork we have seen is fantastic. They have been working hard in all weathers, doing a physically demanding job which is very different to what they’re used to.
“Thank you to each and every person that has been redeployed to support the delivery of essential services to the public during these unprecedented times.”
Duncan Gibb, Everyone Active Contract Manager, said: “We have a fantastic partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council and are pleased we’ve been able to support other local initiatives whilst our centres remain closed.
“Pulling together to support the local community has never been so important and the colleagues that transferred across have thoroughly enjoyed playing their part.
“We look forward to continuing our support where we can and reopening the leisure centres soon.”
Cardboard and garden waste collections were suspended back in March due to staffing pressures caused by coronavirus. Both collections have since returned on a monthly basis thanks to the support from Everyone Active employees, redeployed council staff and temporary new recruits.
You can stay up to date with recycling and waste updates here.