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My Christmas Wish . . . June Peebles, CEO, Edinburgh Leisure

Edinburgh Leisure | Friday 29th November 2019 8:51am

My Christmas Wish . . . June Peebles, CEO, Edinburgh Leisure

Christmas is fast approaching and whilst I may be past the age (just) of writing to Father Christmas that certainly doesn’t stop me from having my Christmas wishes….

My big professional wish is that Edinburgh Leisure continues to deliver on the ambition to inspire everyone in Edinburgh to be active, to be healthy and to enjoy moving. Physical activity is a force for good; it transforms lives. We are all familiar with the messages around physical activity preventing and treating a range of health conditions e.g. heart disease and diabetes. And, I’m sure many of us have an understanding of the positive impact physical activity can have on: reducing social isolation, developing confidence and resilience in individuals and addressing inequalities. So, you can understand why all of us at Edinburgh Leisure is passionate about physical activity – we see the impact it has on individuals and communities and we want everyone to benefit from being active. It also makes you feel good!

Edinburgh Leisure operates an extensive range of venues and activities throughout the city but did you know our ‘Active Communities’ team deliver projects with and for people who need and benefit from having that bit more support to be active. This includes people living with depression, anxiety or stress; people with long term health conditions including cancer or rehabilitation after a stroke or heart attack; young people not in education, training, or employment; older adults at risk from falling; and isolated older adults and those living with dementia.

Operating 30+ venues and all the activities on offer and all our ‘Active Communities’ projects is made possible by: the income we receive from you, our customers, the annual funding we receive from the City of Edinburgh Council, funding from partner organisations such as NHS Lothian and Macmillan Cancer, our fundraising efforts and the support of over 200 volunteers.

We are a charity, so funds received and any surpluses are always used to enable us to continue offering a great service. It costs over £30 million a year to run Edinburgh Leisure’s venues, facilities and services. And, the City of Edinburgh Council (our principle funder and partner) fund approximately 27% of our operational costs.

The Council has significant funding challenges and, as in previous years, we are working hard to avoid reductions in our annual funding from the Council translating into service reductions next year (2020/21) and beyond. We are striving to improve our performance and to protect and develop services for you, your family, your community and our city.

Our funding from the City of Edinburgh Council is currently being considered as part of the Council’s budgeting process. The Council’s budget will be finalised in February 2020. I am, therefore, currently unable to advise you of the implications of reductions to our annual funding. I will, of course, keep you updated.   

Thank you for your support in 2019 and please: keep moving with us, keep supporting us (perhaps you’d like to consider volunteering with us). You may even want to show your support for the services we offer and the importance of being active by getting in touch with your local Councillor.

And my Christmas wish for you – stay active, stay healthy and have a wonderful festive time.

Regards

June Peebles, Chief Executive

junepeebles@edinburghleisure.co.uk

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