A social enterprise charity which manages 11 leisure and cultural centres in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse has been acknowledged with a prestigious award.

The Investors in People gold status award places Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) in the top 15 per cent of organisations credited globally with this accolade.

Investors in People (IiP) is a best-practice hallmark acknowledged in around 70 countries, highlighting companies committed to the exceptional management and development of their staff.

GLL, a staff-owned cooperative that operates more than 350 facilities, offers a range of services including swimming pools, libraries, children's centres, and national arenas, and has 11,000 staff across England, Cardiff and Belfast.

GLL people director, Lorraine Patrinos, said: "We are a friendly organisation that cares about its people.

"Gold standard means we are independently acknowledged as a good employer – one that excels in creating an organisational culture that provides a clear vision for the future, values and develops its people and creates high degrees of trust.

"To get IiP gold standard is a fantastic achievement and caps off an amazing 30th anniversary year for GLL’s staff-owned social enterprise.

"I want to pay tribute to all our people at all grades - whether working in leisure, libraries or children’s services - for the great work they do, day in and day out to deliver the great public services our customers rely on."

For the gold standard assessment earlier this year, all GLL staff members were interviewed, with a group of 200 going through face-to-face sessions.

GLL is also a certified real living wage employer and champions decision making by a diverse staff group, including offering posts on its worker board.

Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, cabinet member for community wellbeing at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: "The health and wellbeing of our residents is a priority for us and we work closely with the teams at our Better Leisure Centres to make sure that we get the best from these facilities and keep investing in them to make sure they are available to use for future generations.

"This award just highlights the great work that they do in running our centres day to day."

Cllr Debra Dewhurst, member for leisure centres and community buildings at Vale of White Horse District Council added: "Our Better leisure facilities are really popular across the district and it’s important to us that they offer a wide range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities.

"The Better team are able to do this and work with us as we invest in new facilities.

"This allows them to introduce new classes and sports to help everyone get active and healthy."