Fantastic community gym launched

Several months ago we were introduced to C.A.R.E. (Herefordshire) CIC, C.A.R.E is a fantastic community interest company based between Hereford and Abergavenny. C.A.R.E. currently run the village Post Office and shop as well as a newly launched community cafe. They also deliver a wide range of services for older vulnerable/isolated people in their local area, Herefordshire’s Golden Valley. Next door to the cafe they also hold a lease on an empty light industrial unit and had long dreamt of opening this up as a community gym.
C.A.R.E.s lack of experience in the sport/leisure sector was a barrier to the scheme progressing. As was time for their already very busy key people. Seven months on, with our help and support enormous progress has now been made on this project and we are working hard to open their new community gym, the GV Fitness Centre, in October. Getting here has meant a lot of work for all concerned and our support has played a key role in C.A.R.E.s journey.

The new community gym will provide all of the services you would expect from any good quality modern fitness facility.

It will also play a key role in helping C.A.R.E. deliver wider social benefits supporting the health and wellbeing of the local community. A key target group for the project are those people in the community who are most isolated and at risk, including older people and those living with Alzheimer’s.

To achieve this the GV Fitness Centre will:

  • Be accessible to those who are disabled or otherwise infirm,
  • Provide social prescribing options for the local GP,
  • Generate an important income stream to help fund CA.R.E.s other work,
  • Facilitate a range of new targeted health and wellbeing sessions and services for C.A.R.E.s primary target groups.

Support provided by HeawardSports to C.A.R.E.s community gym project

  • Project planning/management,
  • Undertaking consultation with the local community and analysing the results,
  • Helping with gym design to ensure that the proposed facility will make the best possible use of the available funds/space and deliver on customers aspirations,
  • Managing a series of procurement exercises to ensure the scheme was properly priced up and CARE was able to get the best possible deals,
  • Supporting and advising C.A.R.E. in relation to a £33,458 bid they had already submitted to Herefordshire County Councils LEADER programme,
  • Preparing a bespoke funding opportunities report and subsequently bids to a number of potential funders,
  • Developing a detailed business and marketing plan for the gym,
  • Finding and engaging good value specialists such as graphic designers, web designers, gym maintenance contractors etc,
  • Developing staffing plans and leading recruitment and selection of staff,
  • Developing launch plans,
  • Creating and managing social media for the project,
  • Working with C.A.R.E. to select and procure specialist CRM and direct debit systems and providers,
  • Development of polices and systems to ensure the gym is operated in an effective and safe manner,
  • Working with C.A.R.E. to identify and secure investment from a suitable social investment fund.

We have also provided C.A.R.E with a lot of moral support and encouragement. Once the new community gym opens we will remain involved providing specialist leisure management expertise as necessary to support both C.A.R.E. and the new staff team.

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