Social enterprise and gym operator GLL has become the first leisure provider in Northern Ireland to become JAM Card friendly.
GLL currently runs 14 leisure centres in partnership with Belfast City Council, under the brand name ‘Better’.
The JAM Card was developed by another social enterprise, the NOW Group for those with learning difficulties, autism and communication barriers.
It can be used to show that a person might need ‘just a minute’ more time when doing everyday things such as taking the bus, buying goods in a shop or using their local leisure centre.
Regional Human Resources Business Partner, Catherine Sweeney said:
“We are really proud to be partnering with fellow social enterprise the NOW Group, who are training our staff to understand the needs of JAM Card users.
“With almost 2 million visitors each year, we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service and that means making sure everyone who uses our leisure centres receives a warm welcome from our team.
“We see the JAM Card as a simple yet effective way to help people with learning difficulties, autism and dementia feel confident to take part in regular physical activity. Whether they are learning to swim, keeping fit in any of our classes or using our gyms across the city, we are here to support them.
Diane Hill, Director of Business Development at NOW Group added:
“Having a learning disability or communication difficulty means that doing the everyday things we take for granted can be stressful for lots of people. JAM Card allows people in these situations to signal that they need a bit more time.
“The success of JAM Card depends on businesses and public service providers getting onboard with the initiative, so it is really heartening to see GLL commit to training its staff to be JAM Card friendly.