Blog

As the academic year comes to an end

19th August 2021

Its been a while since our last blog, we’ve been busy.

The last 12 months have proved a difficult one as it has for many. The company has had to diversify its way of operating. We are now in a very good position in our partner schools and have schools earning more much needed funds than they were pre covid.

We’ve found the appetite within local community groups to get back to their activities has been amazing despite having to work with new guidelines and restrictions. Across our sites we’ve only seen a very small number of groups that have been unable to return.
We now look to the new academic year with optimism. We open two new sites in September and look forward to welcoming back all our clients both new and old.
As a company our focus has always been on our service to our schools and clients and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback across all our sites. Our vision is different to most and we will only partner with schools that we know we can deliver an unrivalled service. Our Senior Teams will always be a visible presence on-site and we will develop long lasting working relationships. We have had to politely decline a few schools which is always difficult however our service is what sets us apart and if we can’t deliver that service to all our schools then we won’t. Are we being narrow minded by turning down business, or are we right sticking to our guns and delivering the service that we promise?
Historically schools have wrongly became a numbers game and egos were being driven by the number, the need to be the biggest (not the best). Do Rolls Royce worry how many cars Ford sell? I doubt it.

From day one we have continued to operate within ourselves with standards being our driving force, as time goes on the more our reputation grows. We have never had to cancel lettings, if we do have staff issues (it happens) our business model means we can always get those sites open. We must always remember that the schools reputation is as much at risk as ours.
What a year it has been, one which we are enormously proud of. We will continue on our journey doing things differently and offering our schools the service they deserve.

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The New Normal

29th April 2021

We understand that it’s going to take some time getting back to normal! We are working towards offering local clubs and communities an increased facility provision .

Coming back to our partner schools and not knowing what it’s like can be daunting and we want you to feel as safe and secure as possible! Daniel Pitt who runs Football Skills School Holiday Camp braved the weather conditions in April and re-established their bookings at Light Hall School over the Easter Holidays.

He said ‘ At Football Skills School we have found Covid very problematic as many others have, we weren’t able to coach due to government restrictions. We are so excited and happy to be back doing what we love to do, seeing all the children so happy to see us and back to coaching everybody from all our schools, holiday camps and academy.’

We know things are a bit different at the minute, and some of you are (understandably) a little cautious about re-activating your bookings. We’ve worked really hard over the last few months to make sure our partner schools are places that offer clean and safe facilities and wanted to share that with as many people as possible!

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Light at the end of the tunnel

28th April 2021

Please accept our sincere thanks for your continued patience and understanding throughout these challenging times. We now find ourselves living in extraordinary times, but we have been enormously proud of the way in which our schools and communities have risen to the challenge: in many ways the pandemic has brought us closer together, even though we were further apart.

We are continually reviewing our position with regards to external use of our schools, however we are still not in a position to advise when our facilities will reopen. We know many of you are keen to get back into our venues and we want to reassure you that careful planning and preparation will have been made to ensure that when the time comes our community can return to our indoor and outdoor facilities with peace of mind.

With the government announcement regarding schools’ re-opening on Monday 8th March, we feel we are in a position to begin implementing a SAFE action plan with a view to re-opening our facilities for community use. With that in mind, we thought it would be useful for us to keep you informed about where we are and what steps we are taking to re-open our facilities :

S - *Secure*

Every school within our portfolio is different and therefore each school poses different challenges for us to overcome. Our priority will always be to protect the safety, health and wellbeing of all that use our facilities and therefore we will need to ensure each venue is COVID-19 secure and follows the ever-evolving government guidance. The first step in this process is to obtain the consent and support from each individual school that they are happy to re-open the facilities for community use. Schools will naturally have questions and concerns that we will need to address, however we are confident, by using the time during lockdown to diligently plan for lettings to return, that we can answer and empower schools to agree to re-opening their facilities. From here we will need to undertake relevant site-level risk assessments, as COVID-19 has brought a new dimension to our business and implement the necessary controls to make sure we keep all the users of the site safe

A – *Activate*

Our aspiration is to give our schools a secure foundation and platform to begin welcoming back our clients for external use. We understand the value of bringing communities together and the many health, social and well-being benefits this can bring. Once our partner schools have given us the green light for lettings to resume, we will start to proactively contact our clients to invite them to return. There is the possibility that we may look towards a phased return for lettings, however our initial priority will be to invite customers who have a current and active contract. After this initial step, we will begin to assess the new enquiries we have received during the national lockdown.

F – *Follow*

Over the coming weeks information will be posted through our social media channels and we will also use these pages to promote our clients groups and lockdown activities. One of our company objectives is to create a social community where local groups and companies can share information through our social media platforms below:

Facebook: Community Lettings UK
Instagram: commlettuk
Twitter: commlettuk
LinkedIn: Community Lettings UK

E – *Engage*

We are working closely with all our partner schools to ensure our facilities can open for community use, as soon as possible. We understand the value of bringing communities together and the many health, social and well-being benefits this can bring. We also understand the value that a flourishing community can bring to our schools in terms of enhancing their reputation as an inclusive and active organisation within the heart of the community. The key to our success is you the people and we can’t wait to welcome you back!

Until next time CW

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Community Lettings UK Welcome

28th April 2021

Hello and welcome,

Here we are at Community Lettings first blog post. Although we find ourselves in unprecedented times Community Lettings UK is already 7 months old. We have made a huge first school partnership and working to secure more. As with almost every area of life COVID19 has dramatically affected our sector.

Schools primary focus as it should be, is its commitment to its pupils. Having spoken to various schools we have understood the challenge that schools have undertaken to try and keep pupils safe and continue their learning. We are now heading into a time where lettings and revenue generation is something that schools are now starting to think about. There has undoubtedly been financial pressure and schools are now starting to look options to help with their funding.

Community Lettings UK has not been set-up to be another letting provider, but to be a different letting provider. Community Lettings UK was set-up by its founders driven by our passion for grassroot sport, our local community and commitment to offer excellent service across the business. We make no qualms in admitting that our business is different to most. We aim to manage between 25 and 35 schools all based centrally in England. We believe and as previously proven that sometimes a “national” approach does not work, Senior Leadership Teams sat miles away not getting to know their working communities. Hiring staff to manage sites that you cannot get to means your staff must share the same passion, commitment and standards that you do. The way to ensure you deliver all the promises made when speaking and signing schools is to ensure you can be on-site and be fully in control of your business and not leave your valuable clients in the hands of others.

We join an industry that overnight has got twice as competitive as before coupled will a lost level of trust that needs to be rebuilt whilst also fighting against a National Pandemic. That being said our passion to make a difference and commitment to our communities means we will continue to strive until we reach our target of partner schools.
As a strapline suggests we will do things right and ensure our standards are always delivered. Our first blog would not be complete without mentioning our founding school Light Hall, Mark gave us our first meeting and believed in our vision and passion. Light Hall is one of the best facility schools in the Midlands and we are immensely proud that its one of ours.

Until next time…..
JW

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