Local restriction tiers: what you need to know – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

To:          All Staff, Members and Customers
From:    Tessa Stickler
Date:     1st January 2021

Dear All

I should like to start with wishing you all a very Happy New Year and here’s hoping that we can enjoy 2021 and put 2020 firmly behind us.

What a year – what a team!  I am so very proud of our Sporty team – first of all our staff.  We have cried together; we have laughed together;  We have been there for each other through personal tragedies and the good times; We have supported each other and made sure that throughout this ghastly time, the Sporty has been up there on our list of priorities.  After 50 years serving the Folkestone community, we were determined that 2020 was not going to defeat us.

Massive praise to our team  – those who have made sure that the bills and the staff have been paid – kept communication going amongst the team and that there is always a line of contact for those who needed it – looked after the buildings, water and security – kept our members and users up to date – made sure that we are ready to re-open the doors – painted, cleaned, put in safety measures……  the list goes on.
Thanks to our volunteers who have willingly helped us to get there. And thanks to our family members who have put up with our tantrums!!! 

Staff and Volunteers have kept in daily contact with our most vulnerable members and those in the community who have suffered loneliness and whose mental health has deteriorated throughout this time.  
Those Fitness instructors who can, have been keeping you fit and active through on-line classes within our members’ facebook page.

Also thanks to our customers – it’s been tough to be without your activities, but mostly, it has been taken with good grace and above all, support.  For those who have been able to keep their payments going, I thank you. You will keep your preferential rates going forward – you will be having extended memberships and payment breaks as soon as we can open again.  For those who, understandably, have not been able to continue their payments, we look forward to welcoming you back – and to new customers who want to see what we can offer, we look forward to meeting you.

Following our decision to close early on in December,  a rumour was put about that we would not re-open – you are so wrong!  We have managed to secure grant and loan funding to make sure that we can come back fighting – it’s been tough for sure, but thanks to sheer grit and determination (some would say bloody-mindedness) we are there
– the Sporty will be ok.  We might not get the new equipment we were planning just yet, but that’s a loss worth living with – sadly, some other facilities have not made it at all, so we are quite rightly, proud that we have secured the Sporty for you.
 
We have continued with our new Outdoor Activity project – the brand-new SkyWalk course (High Ropes) will be completed in the next couple of weeks.  Staff training and certification, and therefore the opening, is delayed because of the current restrictions, but the aim is to have this open before Easter – the Ski slope will be refurbished and the new
Ski Reception will be built.

Thanks to Hawkinge Town Council and our team, Hawkinge Community Centre facilities have had a make-over, and work will continue to progress over the next few months. 

When we are permitted to open, we will make sure that we follow the guidelines, and our own Risk Assessments, to make the Centre as safe as we can – we ask you to support and respect this valuable community asset and all those who work in it and who use it.

Stay safe and we will see you soon.

Tessa

_________________________________________________

Tuesday 15th December 2020

In light of the rising cases of COVID 19 in the Folkestone area, in order to keep our staff and our customers as safe as possible, I have taken the decision to close Folkestone Sports Centre, The Well-Being Centre and
Hawkinge Community Centre with effect from 12.00 midday today.
The Trustees and I will review the situation in the New Year and the aim at the present time is to re-open the doors, under whatever restrictions necessary, on Monday 4th January 2021.
I hope that you respect this decision and understand the difficult choice that has been made.
If you feel you must cancel your next direct debit payment – for January – please do so with your bank – we cannot make this decision for you.  Anyone who continues his or her payment, will be issued with a voucher to redeem against further payment in the future, when we are financially stable again.
Have a safe and happy Christmas and here’s looking forward to a better 2021.

Stay safe

Tessa Stickler
General Manager, FSCT

FAQ’s

What about fitness classes?
Classes will return once Kent is out of Tier 3 restrictions. If you are not already registered for the Folkestone Sports Centre – Members Area group, apply to join by finding it on Facebook and completing a short questionnaire. You can then carry on exercising at home.
What about indoor sports?
Only those who share the same household, or ‘bubble’, can play indoor sports together. Exceptions apply – see gov.uk for more details.
What happens to my membership payments?
The plan is to distribute Vouchers in early 2021 which will enable members who wish to, to claim a payment freeze or an extension to cover the periods missed due to the closure. November payment will have already been made. If you wish to cancel December, please make sure that you cancel your Direct Debit at your bank – we cannot do that for you.
I have already paid for a full course and only had 2 to 3 weeks – what happens now?
We will resume courses as soon as we possibly can and those who have already paid will have priority booking when they re-start. You can choose at the point to have the course cost reduced by that which we hold for you, or to have a refund of unused weeks.
I heard about a new High Ropes Activity – is that still happening?
Indeed it is. J M Adventure have promised to continue with the construction through the lockdown and we are still on track to open our New Aerial Trek Course for the Christmas School Holiday period. Keep watching our website and social media for information.
How can I get in touch if I have a query?
Keep an eye on our website, Facebook, and other social media platforms. If you have a query or concern you can always email direct to me: tessa@folkestonesportscentre.co.uk I will be working from home, and will have access to my email, but no access to the member database or booking system. Or you can contact General Enquiries using the link on our website.
How can I help?
The best thing you can do for the Sporty, is hang on in there!! We will be back as soon as possible.
Stay safe.

Our Trust is looking forward to many more years of providing for our Community.
We look forward to your continued support.
Tessa Stickler, General Manager.  Contact: tessa@folkestonesportscentre.co.uk