Meet the team: head of partnerships, Debbie Gallagher


Q: What is your name, job role and where are you based?

A: I’m Debbie Gallagher, head of partnerships here at SLS. I work remotely from my home in Derby, however, I spend time at the head office in Manchester and visiting partners all over the country.


Q: What does your day-to-day look like at SLS?

A: A typical day is looking after over 200 national partners – trying to find them a venue that will accommodate their needs and looking at opportunities for growth both locally and nationally.

I spend a lot of time managing their bookings, via emails or the telephone and liaising with our general managers to secure bookings for them. It’s extremely fast-paced and every booking is different depending on the number of facilities they require.


Q: Can you tell us more about your career background and journey so far?

A: My career started with David Lloyd Leisure as a sales & marketing manager for 9 years. I also worked for DW Sports as a regional manager for a period and, more recently, general manager at Virgin Active. I’ve always enjoyed working with people, finding solutions, and working with targets, so SLS is a perfect fit me.


Q: What do you enjoy most about your job and why?

A: I love working for a unique business who are super passionate about delivering something back to the community whether it is a local badminton group, theatre groups or a football league. To offer a facility that is not in the private sector and that anyone can book whether it be big or small is brilliant for local businesses. It adds social cohesion with more integrated communities engaging in social activities bringing everyone together.


Q: What is your proudest moment/your greatest achievement in your career and why?

A: Oooo there is so many, my first award in leisure was Sales & Marketing Manager of the Year, this was based on growth in membership by 499 members within 8 months. (Budget was 500 was gutted one dropped off but still it was a great start to my career)

In my time so far at SLS I am proud of our achievements in growing partners and receiving a 10 on our NPS scores!


Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

A: Not sure this is fun but interesting – My Gran’s distant cousin was married to Trevor Macdonald. Also, my party trick is the crab.


Q: What is your favourite quote and why?

A: “It always seems impossible until it’s done“. This is one of my favourite quotes, there is so many… I always use this with teams when a project seems so far away and also for myself I love being challenged and never give up until the job is done


Q: Finally, what do you think the future holds for SLS?

SLS is focusing so much on the people that the future is positive, we are creating a culture through values and passion to deliver world-class customer service at all levels. The company is growing at a fast pace and bringing in so much talent to ensure we succeed at all levels. As part of the new leadership team, we are all completely focused for the future with the support and belief from Scott Warrington and Paul Andrews we can only go from strength-to-strength.