Over 600 people have joined YMCA’s refurbished gyms and fitness classes in Peterborough and Cambridge since the start of 2017, many of them attracted by its “Feel Good, Do Good” campaign with people preferring to use the gyms because they know their membership fees support YMCA’s charitable work across the county.
Those 600 new memberships amount to almost £86,000 to support the charity’s services. The mission of the YMCA gyms is to encourage young people to keep themselves fit and healthy, at the same time as raising money to support others. Any surplus from gym memberships is passed immediately back into the charity to support programmes such as community counselling, supported accommodation, schools programmes, and access to employment.
The gyms boast a welcoming and safe environment, and almost 25% of members have a physical or learning disability. The charity has seen some incredible stories of transformation – one of which is gym member John, who has changed his life dramatically by regularly attending the YMCA Gym.
Aged 82, John is one of the oldest members at his local YMCA Gym in Peterborough. Sadly he was struck down with a severe infection in his spine 10 years ago that left him unable to walk. After seeing an advert for YMCA’s GP referral scheme John decided to do something positive and start participating in light physical exercise. With support from YMCA Gym staff John started using the disabled electric hand bike which has started to improve his circulation, resulting in him starting to get some feeling and movement back in his left leg.
John commented: “I love the friendliness of the gym and look forward to my weekly visits. The staff have been fantastic in the last 4 years helping me get to where I am today – it has really changed my life. The quality of the equipment available is very high and to know that my membership fee is going to a good cause to help others is great.”
Julie Martin, Fitness and Training Manager for YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough commented: “YMCA exists to inspire members of our local community – whether young or old. We pride ourselves on offering a friendly and welcome environment and John is a great example of how our gym programme helps to transform lives – not only by providing opportunities for people to get involved in physical activity, but also by providing vital funds to support other areas of the charity’s work. So why not feel good and do good by signing up today?”
In its current promotion, YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is offering two free months membership to new members to trial the new facilities. After the trial, monthly fees start from just £11.99 per month which includes access to all exercise classes and four free personal training sessions.
The charity runs gyms at both Queen Anne House in Cambridge and The Cresset in Peterborough and each of the new facilities boasts over 70 gym and studio stations.
YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is part of the wider national YMCA federation that, in total, runs 54 gyms, 29 leisure centres, 26 multi use game areas, as well as 48 community halls for leisure use.