We’re leading the roll-out of rapid Covid tests for people who must go to workplaces
We are expanding our community support in the ongoing pandemic by leading the roll-out of regular covid-19 testing for businesses.
Our staff are supporting and co-ordinating the introduction of rapid lateral flow testing for workers who need to go to local workplaces, working with Burnley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council.
Regular testing of people at work is a key tactic in battling covid. Employee testing is being offered at Gannow Community Centre, Central Methodist Church and Burnley Boys & Girls Club on Barden Lane. The venues are open for people working in Burnley to receive two tests per week, every week for the foreseeable future.
Testing at Gannow runs every Tuesday and Friday, 9am to 4pm. Testing at Burnley Boys and Girls Club is on Mondays and Thursdays, 9am to 4pm. Testing at Central Methodist Church is on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9am to 4pm.
The centres operate on a walk-in basis. There is no need for an appointment. Test results are generally available in 30 minutes and are sent to mobile phones. Please note that lateral flow tests are only available if you cannot do your work from home. If you attend, you’ll be asked to confirm you need to be based in a workplace rather than working at home.
In addition, we may be able to offer mobile testing at workplaces and training to businesses so they can test their own staff.
Our organisation is unique. As a leisure trust with charitable status, we serve thousands of people every year with recreational, sport, entertainment and cultural activities. As a not-for-profit organisation, unlike purely commercial gym providers, we are accountable to local residents and the borough council.
We’re probably best known for St Peter’s and Padiham leisure centres, Prairie Sports Village, Towneley Golf Course, Thompson Park Boathouse and Burnley Mechanics theatre. However, as a charitable trust, we provide many free services too for local children, families and elderly people who need help.
Speaking about the covid-19 tests, Mark Dempsey, our Hospitality General Manager, said: “We have offered support to the new workplace testing programmes being rolled-out by the county council and government. Over 20 Burnley Leisure staff are undergoing training to provide testing along with Burnley Leisure partner Birchall Foodservice, based at Hapton, which has offered seven of its team to provide additional testing capacity.
“Regular testing boosts the effectiveness and accuracy of the lateral flow test. It offers us all a passport out of this pandemic. The ability to test in five minutes and receive the results in 30 minutes is key to re-opening our economy and providing peace-of-mind for employees and businesses. This development is something that every employer should support. While distancing is still very important, we can identify and support employers to bring employee testing in-house.”
Meanwhile our other community outreach support services are ongoing through the pandemic. Our staff in diverse roles, from fitness coaches to catering chefs, are continuing their volunteering for the Burnley Together network in many ways. Their services include delivering food parcels, handling telephone calls and preparing 200 weekly two-course ready meals for food parcels.
Mark added: “We are continuing to increase our support in the borough with testing, thanks to our fantastic team who all share our goal of driving-down Covid rates in Burnley. I want to thank our dedicated team for, once again, rising to the challenge.”
Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with Burnley Together, the network of local organisations which helps residents with everyday needs and supports those hit by the outbreak, lockdowns and restrictions. Support has continued and evolved through all the re-openings, restricted openings and closures of leisure amenities.
Our furloughed staff have helped make hundreds of essential goods deliveries. Fitness staff have supported the community with free live online workouts, quizzes, recipes and support for diet, nutrition and mental health. Our other support includes Up & Active exercise and advice for people with health conditions, a variety of Burnley at Home online fitness content by our instructors on Facebook Live and Zoom, the Secret Santa Christmas gift appeal and Active Streets activities and meals for local children who usually receive free school dinners.