Earlier this year, we said goodbye to our longstanding and outstanding Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Lorna Dorrell.
At the end of last month, we hired Stuart Wilson, who we're delighted to welcome as Lorna's replacement.
Stuart, 29, and originally from Chatham, Kent, brings more than three years of marketing and communications experience at various councils and other workplaces, as well as working in day support and youth worker roles at Alzheimer's Society and Surrey County Council respectively.
We caught up with Stuart in our Questions and Answers section below to find out more about him, how he's finding the gym so far, why he joined our unique service and why he's so passionate about people.
Working At The Gym
How did you first hear about our gym? I’d been working within the private sector at a globally-focussed PR agency for construction clients.
I had a re-think though and wanted to apply my newswriting and communications skills in a people-focussed media role. So I scoured the internet and came across an advert for the marketing and communications role at Ability Bow. As soon as I walked in and met everyone at interview and saw the centre, I was so impressed and thought, ‘This is the role for me’ (if I can get it, which I did!).
Why did you want to join the gym? It's such a lovely environment.
Not only is the role a great mix of writing articles, social media content, newsletters, videos, graphics and web editing - as well as direct marketing including meeting partners and distributing promotional flyers/posters - the people make it what it is.
How have you found working here so far? Amazing as I say! I’ve only been here two weeks and already I feel part of the the team and very happy.
It’s a supportive place to work and for the members, it’s a great place for them to aid their recovery. Every day you can say hello and meet a new face and socialise and as many of our members say, you can't always do that in other more commercial gyms, as they can be competitive and isolating. I hope (and think) I’ll do well here!
Why are you passionate about people? I’ve always enjoyed finding out about people - ever since I got full marks for my English 11+ exam for my mock interview with Formula 1 driver Damon Hill.
That inspired me to think I could write about people and their achievements and as my journalism degree and my communications roles have enabled me to meet people and tell their story, this has only continued.
But I’m passionate about people because we’re all unique, individual and bring something to those around us. I love mental health/psychology and being able to understand someone’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours in a person-centred environment like this only makes me want to tell their story and raise awareness of their situation even more!
Hobbies and Interests
What do you do in your spare time? My main hobbies are sport, music, acting (including just watching films/TV), walking and travel, animals and wildlife, history, mental health, eating out and socialising with friends.
I go to watch football including Chelsea FC when I can and motorsport including touring cars. I really want to visit Wimbledon for the tennis, but haven’t ever managed to get tickets yet, as I love watching all the grand slams and singles titles on TV!
I’m also currently rehearsing with a friend of mine in a Retro Electro ‘80s electronic pop tribute act (we’re ‘in the studio!’). I'm the vocals and occasional keyboard/synth player, while he's the production brains. I’ve also done some amateur drama and would like to do some stage acting again in the future!
What’s your biggest achievement? Convincing my girlfriend to go out with me!
Seriously, being asked to do paid singing for a ‘50s and ‘60s tribute entertainment agency last year. I turned it down as I wanted to revisit communications/PR, but I’m so glad I found out people would pay to see me (although they did when I’ve done amateur drama, so I suppose I must have been doing something right anyway!). Making people happy is what I love and I’ll always aim to support someone!
Favourite film: That is a tough one! But, as I’m as a massive comedy buff and prefer TV comedies anyway, Alpha Papa (with Alan Partridge) is just amazing as it combines TV comedy and places it in a film.
Favourite music/artist: I love a lot of musical styles, though electronic is definitely my favourite! I once checked my iPod and I had about 100 GB worth of music on it!
Current artists I love include people like Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Editors, Keane and The Killers, but also people like Daft Punk, Goldfrapp, Hot Chip and MGMT (basically anything electronic which is also indie/alternative/pop/dance or soft rock-esque). But, as I love the ‘80s, I also love bands like A-ha, Depeche Mode, Human League and New Order etc and most of their work since through to today.
Favourite food/drink: My girlfriend (I'm not just sucking up) is a fantastic cook! I reckon her smoked salmon with vegetables and noodles is one of THE gourmet dishes out there! I have told her she should be a chef, though whether she’ll listen I'm not sure! Otherwise, she makes some brilliant fruit smoothies (have I done enough to keep me out of the dog house tonight?).
Some Final Thoughts
Favourite person (have you also met anyone famous?): Again, apart from my girlfriend - there’s plenty of people I admire though I’m not sure I could pick!
I tend to meet people at football or bump into them. I was standing behind Danny Murphy (ex-Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder) in Tesco’s in Dorking, Surrey (where I now live) the other week. I’ve also said hello and chatted about the Olympics coverage to John Inverdale at Chelsea before!
What’s the best ways to keep you physically/mentally motivated? I think having people around to support you is key. If you’ve got a great network of people to talk to, do activities with and offload when times are hard, you can achieve a lot and feel far better about life when you need some support!
Getting In Touch
If you have a story or query for Stuart or would like to get to know more about his role at the gym, feel free to speak to him in person at Ability Bow, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.