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access fitness a unique partnership between autism plus, Sheffield United Community Foundation and SIV – Concord Sports Centre officially opened yesterday.

access fitness is the UK’s first specialist gym with personalised support for people with disabilities and mental health diagnoses.

The launch was supported by members of the community and disability sports advocates from across the city. Sheffield United footballers Dave Kitson and Tony McMahon were also there to officially open the gym.

Mainstream gyms and services are often intimidating to people who struggle with crowds, self-confidence, noise or limited mobility. We wanted to tackle these needs by providing an alternative– a gym for anyone with a disability or mental health diagnosis based right here in Sheffield.

Using our 25 + years of experience supporting disabled individuals we ran a pilot gym with 15 people who use our service. We operated in a limited gym area in our adult learning centre in Sheffield. For everyone who took part it was the first time they had access to any gym facilities. Each person was monitored with 77% seeing an improvement in their weight or BMI. Other positives included lowered blood pressure, improved mobility and relieving stress and anxiety. What’s more everyone experienced greater social inclusion and just had fun.

We’ve now been able to turn the success of the pilot into a fully functioning gym in partnership with Sheffield United and Concord Sports Centre.

Our specialist gym within the Wellness Centre at Concord Sports Centre is an open and fully accessible area with the latest equipment. We have designed the space to be person centred, user friendly and easy to navigate with colour coded footprints and equipment and adapted communication tools.

Our instructor is fully qualified with a background in disability and mental health support having a better understanding of members’ disabilities and obstacles they face.

As part of the gym each member will have their own personalised plans that will encourage a healthier lifestyle. Members also have the option of either one-to-one support or to attend small exercise groups. Family members are also welcome to attend sessions.

 

If you would like further information or to would like to arrange a visit to access fitness please contact the access fitness team on 0114 384 0300 or email accessfitness@autismplus.co.uk

Or view the access fitness webpage by clicking HERE