And another year nearly gone

I can’t believe we are almost at the end of another year! It has been a fantastic year for us with exciting new projects like ‘Keep Moving’ a group exercise followed by tea for stroke survivors. We have seen 16 new stroke survivors making loads of progress in the groups and they have also made new friends. They enjoyed working in a group so much that they asked us to set up a drop-in group for them when their ten weeks finished which we have done.

We have also had our ‘Reach Ability’ project which has run four groups this year, two in Hackney and two in the Ability Bow gym. That is 32 people we have worked with that have various disabilities (mainly MS). We still have 2 ½ years of this project to run. We are now arranging for the Reach Ability members to go out and try other activities including swimming, cycling and badminton. This year we also had a great turnout for the London Marathon.

We had 26 runners who raised a whopping £34,000 to support our gym, and on a (slightly!) smaller scale we had 20 participants do the Big Fun Run in Victoria Park in October, raising another £2000 towards an arm cycle. We are doing both events again next year so if you would like to be involved please get in touch. We have seen staff come and go this year too.

Patrick joined us early this year and in September Rita and Liz left us to go on to new things. Jeanette and Chantelle joined us in September to take their places. Jeanette worked for Ability bow 2 years ago and Chantelle had been volunteering for us for 6 months. It’s great having them as part of the team! We are all very excited about next year, the ongoing ‘Keep Moving’ and ‘Reach Ability’ projects and we have funding to start a new project called ‘Positive Steps’.

This project is to support people with mental health issues through exercise.

So on that positive note we would all like to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

Joanne Roche