life on centre
Life on centre
Centre life can be many things – demanding, rewarding, hectic, exhilarating, tiring, fun…But wherever you work, we want you to have the best experience possible and provide a friendly, supportive and welcoming working and living environment to ensure this.
Whilst you are living on centre we aim to make life as easy and comfortable as possible for you with the facilities we provide.
It is important for our staff to have an area where they can get away and relax away from guests so all centres have staff areas. Most of these areas come equipped with a TV and DVD player so you’ll often find a full staff room catching up on the latest films and TV. The equipment in the staff areas is usually added to throughout the season by staff and by the end of the season you will usually see a games console or two (or a few more random things).
Most of our centres provide free WiFi access so you can keep in contact with the outside world be it with friends and family on social media or checking up on your emails.
All centres have laundry facilities with most of our UK centres providing drying facilities also. As you can imagine after a day in the kitchen or outside on activities this is much needed!
Our larger centres also have on-site bars so you can enjoy a drink after work and take part in some evening entertainment from quizzes to casino nights. Providing a great place to get social with your friends on centre. For those centres without bars there is always some other alternative for staff to get together after work. All centres have designated smoking areas away from guests.
We want you to make the most of your free time and encourage you to take advantage of your centre’s location and go somewhere different on your day off. The majority of our centres are located in tourist areas and regions perfect for participating in outdoor activities.
Public transport is available from most locations, and some centres may run minibus trips into the local town. Many of our centre-based staff also bring their own vehicles with them so you will always be able to find someone willing to offer lifts.
Before you arrive at your centre you will receive a Centre Information Sheet, this will give you full details of the centre’s amenities and ideas for places to visit in the local area. You can also find out more now by looking at our location pages . You will soon find that there is plenty to keep you entertained in the surrounding area and that there is no such thing as a boring day off.
Centres may also let staff use the activity equipment in their spare time when it is not being used by guests. This can make surfing at Beam, sailing at Mimosa or biking at Boreatton easier than you think!
Whilst living on centre you will be allowed to have your own visitors at your General Manager’s discretion. So, once you’ve got to grips with the local area you can have your friends and family visit and show them around.
PGL offer an accommodation package for the majority of their vacancies. Living and working ‘on centre’ certainly has its perks. For starters, there’s no need to get up too early as the commute to work is normally in the region of 30 seconds to 5 minutes! However, the true benefits of living on centre go far beyond this. There’s a real community spirit and a fantastic sense of camaraderie amongst the staff team. Living onsite gives you the opportunity to socialise with your work colleagues and enjoy the centre’s facilities.
As you can imagine, with 23 different centres across 5 different countries, all different sizes and with their own unique character and facilities, we can’t tell you exactly what your room will be like as they differ from centre to centre – but we can promise you a warm, comfy bed and a space that will quickly feel like home. The majority of our staff accommodation is in shared rooms with either an en-suite or shared bathroom. If you are working in Southern France or Spain (and in some UK centres during the summer months) your home for the season will be a large framed tent. Don’t worry – this isn’t hard core camping and we’re certainly not expecting you to need Bear Grylls style survival techniques. The tents are the same style as the guest accommodation and you will be surprised how quickly you’ll come to love and personalise your new home.
All indoor accommodation has electric sockets but you may wish to bring a power surge-protected extension lead or multi-plug (just in case you need to straighten your hair and charge your phone at the same time!)
If you are working at a centre in France or Spain, remember to take a European plug adaptor for electrical items. Any electrical equipment that you bring with you will need to be PAT tested at your centre before you are able to use it. We do not recommend that you bring valuable electrical items with you but just in case – make sure you get some personal possessions insurance. This might already be covered by the home contents insurance where you currently live, so check with the policy holder first.
You’ll find yourself burning through calories working with PGL so it’s important for us to keep you fuelled.
All staff joining us in a full residential role are provided with three meals a day, seven days a week: all prepared, cooked and washed up for you!
Menus always offer a variety including fresh fruit and vegetarian options so you’re sure to find something that you like!
If you have other specific dietary requirements due to allergies or observance of your religious faith, please let the PGL Recruitment Team know in advance of your arrival.
Centre life can be demanding and it is important that you look after yourself and stay fit and healthy to make the most of your time on centre. Although taking care of your self is common sense it is easy when you’re busy with work and having fun to forget simple things like:
- Making sure you eat regularly and drink lots of water
- Making time to take some form of exercise each week, even if it’s just a walk away from centre
- Having a couple of early nights each week
- Regularly washing your bedding, including sleeping bags and pillow cases
- Wearing sunscreen and a hat during the summer to protect you from the sun, especially if you are working in Southern France or Spain
Like we say, simple things but they make all the difference in keeping you at your best. If you do have any issues with your health speak to your line manager and you will find a supportive team ready to help you out.
It is also important to note PGL has a zero tolerance approach to the presence of prohibited substances on our centres. Any staff member found to be under the influence of or in possession of non-medically prescribed drugs will automatically be taken through our disciplinary procedures.
The majority of PGL guests are school parties and youth groups accompanied by Party Leaders (Teachers/parents/youth workers etc). During the Easter and summer holiday periods we cater for families and children travelling individually without parents or teachers.
In the UK and Northern France, guests are predominately 8-13 years of age. In Southern France and Spain they tend to be secondary school age (12-17). The different needs and requirements of each group will be explained to you during your training periods and at your centre of work.
Due to the age of our guests it’s important that you conduct yourself in an appropriate manner at all times on centre. This isn’t to say you can’t have fun but we have to be mindful of how we behave in front of our guests.
If you have a problem
Working for PGL is a great experience. This does not mean you won’t have problems while working on centre. Just like in normal life problems arise, these may with your working life or may be personal. If you do have a problem your centre team is there to help even if your problem has nothing to do with PGL.
We would always suggest speaking to your line manager if you have any problems – don’t bottle them up. Nothing can be done about something unless you tell someone. You will find they are more than happy to help in any way they can.
You’ll no doubt make some fantastic friends during your time at PGL and talking about things that are bothering or upsetting you can sometimes make all the difference. Regularly talking with your friends can stop these things building up and becoming bigger issues than they might have to be.
When you start your job you will receive a Staff Info Guide, this also has a staff welfare section which goes into more details on specific issues as well as giving you contact information for advice.
If you have a friend who may be interested in working for PGL, please tell them to get in touch with us; you can choose to work at the same centre and we will do our best to place you at the same location.
Key PGL Facts
Need more convincing to apply? Surely not, but if so – here are a few ‘must know’ key facts:
- we employ over 3,000 people every year
- over 400,000 guests visit a PGL centre every year
- we are old! We have been providing activity holidays since 1957 (almost 60 years)
- we have the most competitive staff package
- we are the employer of choice within the outdoor activity industry!