Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) is heralding its latest independently verified success story of generating and delivering nearly £7 million of social value* back to the borough.  

This figure for the 21/22 financial year has increased significantly from £1.8million in financial year 20/21 – highlighting the impact of COVID-19 closures on Social Value – plus the Black Country-based charity (which still runs nine leisure facilities for Sandwell Council across the borough) is well above standard for the industry.

The Social Value report quantifies and benchmarks the contribution sport services make on four main categories – physical and mental health, subjective wellbeing, individual development and social and community development – and is a key measure of how charitable and leisure operators contribute back to their local areas.

Key findings from this report on SLT facilities are:  

  • 8 out 9 Sandwell sites sit in the top 3rd or 4th group for Social Value per person, with SLT consequently placed in the top 30% overall nationally
  • Some 327,000 active and 343,000 fairly active individuals attended Sandwell’s facilities, with the majority attending from Sandwell borough
  • 45% of participants were from IMD group 1 or 2 (the most deprived groups)

SLT Business & Commercial Manager, Mark Wildman, says: “We are delighted to demonstrate how leisure in Sandwell is contributing back to the borough. Social Value is a key measure to help understand how participation in physical activity is improving health, improving educational attainment and also reducing crime.”

*Benchmarks and comparisons are from 4Global’s DataHub, which is the largest database of physical activity data in the UK, with automated membership and participation data feeds from over 2500 leisure facilities. It values and measures the social impacts of participation in sport nationwide and has recently been updated to include the latest research from Sheffield Hallum University and Sport England, which fully aligns it with the UK Government strategy for sport.