Who we are
Active Worthing are a group of exercise specialists who offer unique rehabilitation services. Our instructors are qualified in Exercise Referral and have Level 4 qualifications in Falls Prevention, Cancer Rehab, Cardiac Rehab, Exercise after Stroke, Neurological conditions, Exercise for Mental Health Wellbeing, and Obesity and Diabetes. We help people with long term health conditions, injuries, and disabilities manage those conditions through activity.
Last year we were successfully running The Rowans Gym, offering referral/rehabilitation gym services and classes. We were housed in a day centre. Many people with health conditions, injuries, and disabilities were referred through medical professionals. Every person received a one to one consultation and an exercise plan tailored to them.
We had 650 members and our classes were especially popular, including Boxercise, Strength and Balances classes for falls prevention, and Beginners classes suitable for all.
We were so successful in reaching under represented groups and helping them maintain their fitness that our instructor Marie was awarded Coach of the year by Active Sussex.
We were then invited to talk at the Active Sussex conference to share with others our ethos and how we were succeeding where so many others fail.
What makes us unique is how we view our members. There is no limit to our services, once people are referred they can stay a member forever. Normal exercise referral schemes have an end date, which doesn't allow people the time to form a habit to be able to sustain their activity levels. Some health conditions means members may have periods where they are unable to attend the gym. If a scheme is a set amount of time, they may be disadvantaged in those types of schemes.
In most mainstream gyms, those with disabilities and health conditions are "other". They may be directed to one or two "suitable" classes, to a short term scheme that comes to and end and they see an increase in their membership costs.
Our gym and classes are suitable for all. We have highly qualified staff who adapt and tailor everything to ensure safety and enjoyment for our participants. We keep our prices low, and have pay as you go options for those that have conditions that may mean they miss days or weeks of training. We have created a wonderful atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable.
Why we need your help
Unfortunately we were told that due to changes in council services there would no longer be space for us in the building we were using and that the gym would close.
Despite a petition to our MP and lots of support, the decision was final.
We decided to create a not-for-profit community interest company to take over the provision of the gym services ourselves, and took it upon ourselves to search for a new venue. When Covid hit, the gym was shut under the lockdown rules, 4 months before our potential closure date. We were unable to view any venues for months until the rules were relaxed.
As soon as the first lockdown ended we set up a new timetable of classes running out of temporary venues and outdoors.
These proved very popular with many of our members returning. However there are still a large proportion of our members who are missing the gym, and the specialist equipment that we offered. This equipment is currently in storage, awaiting its new home.
Our vision for the future
The announcement of the second lockdown has meant we will be unable to provide our services until the rules are relaxed again. Our clients need us more than ever as they have become deconditioned after months of Covid lockdown and shielding.
We are crowdfunding to raise money to secure a new venue. This would need to be fully accessible, including disabled toilets, changing area and showers. We may need to make adjustments to an existing building, for example to add a lift, widen doorways, or adjust lighting. Your money will go towards supporting the community and prevent the loss of these much needed services.
Coronavirus is hitting our members hard. Social isolation is affecting their mental health wellbeing, many are seeing a decline in their health conditions and their mobility. The Covid lockdown and constantly changing rules are making it extremely difficult for us to provide the services that are so desperately needed. We are struggling to keep our specialist staff in an uncertain climate.
Our vision is to see a thriving, friendly and supportive space, where people are able to take control of their own health and maintain their independence.