A new and fully equipped exercise room has been unveiled at Fiona Gardens, Trafford Housing Trust’s sheltered housing scheme in Sale.
The exercise room is open to all residents of the independent living apartment complex, which caters for people over the age of 55.
The project to create the gym facilities was spearheaded by Fiona Gardens’ Resident Chair Jim Hough and funding for the equipment came from the Trust’s Social Investment Fund. The Fund, which makes grants totalling up to £2 million a year to community health and well-being organisations and charities, recognised the positive benefits exercise plays in a healthier older age.
“A number of Fiona Gardens residents approached me about something their GPs had been advising them, and I got to thinking” Jim said.
“Exercise and staying active are hard enough, but when you don’t the facilities it is almost impossible for people our age.
“Working with the Trust’s manager at Fiona Gardens, we quickly identified a suitable space but we didn’t have the money to get the right equipment – especially for those with limited mobility. I turned to the Social Investment Fund, made my case and they very quickly agreed to fund the gym.
“It is now open and residents are flocking to use it. It has already made a massive difference to residents.”
The grant from the Social Investment Fund was supplemented by the Residents Association’s own funds and by donations from the local community.
The exercise room has a mix of equipment in place for able bodied and disabled residents, including a treadmill for wheelchair users, parallel walking bars, a traditional treadmill, weighted wrist straps and a workout bench.
Fay Jackson, the Social Investment Fund manager at Trafford Housing Trust, said the gym project was the perfect example of the benefits the Fund seeks to achieve.
“We support hundreds of initiatives like Jim’s gym across Trafford and Greater Manchester to increase mental and physical well-being as well as address social and economic deprivation.
“In addition to the physical and mental benefits of access to the equipment, the gym is also acting as a social centre for people who may have felt socially isolated within the wider community,” Fay concluded.
The gym was officially opened by the double world champion para-cyclist Jon Gildea.
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