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Olympian charges up Crawley power workers

Power workers in Crawley were given a lesson in how to recharge their energy, during a visit from a former kayaking world champion.

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UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity to 8.3 million homes and businesses across the East of England, London and the South East, hosted Anna Hemmings at its Three Bridges base.

Anna, an MBE, is best known as Britain’s most successful ever female kayaker, a two-time Olympian and six-times World Champion before retiring from her sport in 2009 to set up a high performance training consultancy, Beyond the Barriers.

UK Power Networks arranged the session with Anna, one of several scheduled across the country by the firm, as part of its Your Energy programme designed to help staff maximise their energy levels and remind them of the importance of good health and well being.

Anna co-designed the training which takes lessons from elite sport into a work environment. The Crawley session focused on energy capacity for staff and advised how exercise and movement can improve energy levels as well as help combat stress and potential fatigue.

Dawn McDonald, health and wellbeing manager at UK Power Networks, said:

“As part of our vision to be an employer of choice, we encourage staff to work together and look to improve their own health and well being as well as looking out for colleagues.

“It was fantastic to draw on Anna’s experience of top level sport. Massive pressure comes with competing at Olympics and World Championships, and it’s hugely beneficial for our staff to learn how keeping energy levels high can help not only manage the pressures and improve productivity at work, but also support how they spend their quality time at home.

“We want to ensure our employees can work safely and efficiently, providing a platform to improve resilience, reduce the risk of stress and increase peoples’ capacity to cope with life’s challenges.”

Olympian, Anna Hemmings, from Beyond the Barriers, said:

“Exercise gives us the feel-good factor but most of us are not exercising enough. Today’s session on energy capacity was about building bite-sized chunks of exercise and movement into people’s lives so they can get the benefit of exercise.

“Energy begets energy, so the more energy we use the more we will produce. Movement is our greatest stimulus for energy and it will also boost our cognitive function, improve our mental health and sleep.”

Lindelee Ross, a project delivery manager who participated , said:

“Anna’s session gave us a wide variety of exercises we can plan into our day without needing to spend an hour exercising in the gym.

“She explained how the biggest barrier to exercise is time, but some exercise is better than none at all and if we keep it simple we won’t feel so overwhelmed. It could be 10-minute slots which we can spread throughout the day.”

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BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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