Abi Nim Gym
£115 of £5,000 goal
In September 2011, I decided to go to the Royal National College For The Blind in Hereford where I completed a course in Health and Fitness. I gained an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Fitness which means I am now a qualified Fitness Instructor. On completing my course I decided that I would start my own business and opened The Abi Nim Gym and Wellbeing Centre. My idea was to create a social enterprise, with the aim of encouraging people who are not confident enough to visit a large mainstream gym. We do not have any mirrors in the gym as the majority of our customers do not like looking at themselves, I started the gym without mirrors for that very reason. Our equipment is situated so that people aren’t looking directly at each other and this seems to work very well, although people do chat to each other and appear to feel comfortable.
The Wellbeing Centre aspect is based on a holistic approach. We have found that people using the gym often like to sit with us and chat over coffee. Many of our members live alone, and are at risk of becoming socially isolated. As a gym and wellbeing centre, we care about the physical, social, emotional and mental health of our visitors. In addition to the gym, we have visiting remedial therapists who offer massage, and a Yoga Instructor who runs Yoga Classes for us. We would like to expand our activities to reach an even wider cross-section of the Community. In particular, we feel that low income should not be a barrier to people joining a gym and keeping fit. We would really like to be able to subsidise people who cannot afford the membership fee.
Our gym welcomes a large number of disabled members who really benefit from its freedom and accessibility, We are open to both disabled and able-bodied people who enjoy keeping fit and feel at ease in the small venue, with its encouraging and friendly atmosphere. At present we have 45 members and we hope to significantly increase this over the next year. Our youngest member is 17 and our oldest is 94. We believe that there is a real niche for what we are doing, and this is reflected in some of the recent comments from our members:
"I really enjoy coming to the gym which has improved my health & wellbeing. I have made some lovely friends, Edris and her team have been great too! Would recommend highly" - Sarah.
"Enjoyable place to come if you want to keep fit" - Robin.
My 2 employees kindly accept a low wage in order to benefit the gym, which I really appreciate. Although our membership is growing, we do need funding to sustain this social enterprise.
We are a Community Interest Company, which means we do not make a profit from the services we offer. We do have students from the Royal National College For The Blind completing work experience here and we plan to continue this arrangement to help the college in the future.
We are passionate about what we do, but we need your help to keep the gym afloat and to help us make our services accessible to all. There are so many possibilities for a social enterprise like ours. If you share our passion for good health and holistic wellbeing, please give a donation. Every penny donated will go some way towards breaking down barriers, enabling Abi Nim gym to brighten many more lives.
Please help spread the word!