Location Hounslow, London
Role My role is to spend at least an hour a week at the outdoor gym, engaging with regular active visitors and potential visitors that walk by.
I give them tips on warming up and cooling down, how to use the equipment safely, different ways to get active and how to build up strength.
How long have you been volunteering for? I have volunteered since August 2017, once a week. Through October I have been trying to visit twice or three times a week at different times of the day.
What attracted you to the opportunity to train up in community activation and volunteer your services? After benefiting from getting active myself, for physical and mental heath, I wanted to get involved in the community. I want to give folk the boost they might need and engage more in the science of exercise. I spotted the Gym Activator role in my borough and went for it.
How was the training day with Robin from Ad-Lib? One day training with Robin from Ad-Lib training was easy to understand. The day gave me great basic training to engage with the community and enough confidence to be familiar with the out door gym equipment. For me personally it gave me the boost I needed to confirm I wanted a career change into health & wellbeing.
Your experience so far It’s been engaging & entertaining.
If you were advising someone who is nervous about trying out physical activity, what would you say? The very act of leaving the house and walking to the outdoor gym is a perfect start. Start by just doing 10mins a week and see how you can build from there.
What does community mean to you? In built up urban areas, the sense of community has gone. I wanted to be more involved but didn't know how. Being an Outdoor Gym Activator has given me that start and I hope to get more involved in the future.
To find out more about Zillah, check out her November blog on our website.
Location Bromley-by-Bow, London
Can you give us a quick overview about yourself? I’m a 53-year-old woman, who had her first child when she was 45. I spent most of my working life at Tower Hamlets Council Press office, almost 20 years. I gave up my last job 2 years ago, working for a hospitality company, to look after my mother, who has Dementia.
What attracted you to the opportunity with the Bromley-by-Bow Centre? I started a Fit4Life session at the Bromley by Bow Centre in July (doctor recommendation), plus I’ve been attending the Employability sessions since last year.
How was the training course with Robin from Ad-Lib? It was really interesting, better than expected and he made it fun.
Do you have an example of a fun experience on the course? I think it was our second week, and Robin took us outside for our ‘outdoor’ physical activity session and split us up into 2 teams and we played a game, which was a bit like netball, it was so much fun and really memorable, it was like being a kid again.
Three words to describe your experience so far. Enlightening, Hard, Enjoyable
Who will you try target when volunteering in the community? I’d like to work with the 50+ category, preferably with women’s groups. The Fit4Life group I was part of knew about me doing the Ab-Lib course and want me to contact them once I’ve completed the whole course.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of volunteering? Make sure it’s some you really want to do and you have the time to do it. Don’t go into it half hearted.
If you were advising someone who is nervous about trying out physical activity, what would you say? I wouldn’t ask anyone to commit to anything. I would determine what they felt comfortable trying, whether water or chair based exercise, light exercise which could be circuit based, or maybe even dance, find a group and accompany them to their preferred first try.
What does exercise mean to you? For a long time, exercise didn’t mean anything to me, not until I started the Fit4Life and I knew I didn’t want it to end. When I was invited to an interview to explain what the Fit4All Ad-Lib training course was about and if I wanted to join, I wanted to say ‘no’, I didn’t want to teach it, I want to just do a class, but Colin (the interviewee) convinced me. It’s now become part of a lifestyle I want to continue, I even go through my workout with my daughter (7 years), who now knows how to do a warm-up session.
Location Bromley-by-Bow, London
Can you give us a quick overview about yourself? I am a dad of three, with three grand children. I am 56 years young; a plumber by trade, polite, fun, caring, and willing to learn.
What attracted you to the opportunity with the Bromley-by-Bow Centre? To get myself back into fitness training, and to get out more and meet people.
How was the training course with Robin from Ad-Lib? It was very good. It was fun and enjoyable.
Do you have an example of a fun experience on the course? When someone would get a question right they would get a big BOOM, that would get people laughing and happy.
What motivates you to volunteer in the community? To help. To get to know everyone in the community.
Who will you try target when volunteering in the community? People 50+ to run Circuit training, body conditioning and speed walking sessions.
What personal qualities do you think it is essential for a volunteer to have? Entertaining, encouraging and caring.
If you were advising someone who is nervous about trying out physical activity, what would you say? I would encourage them just to come watch, to get a fill for the place.
What does exercise mean to you? Feeling good: physically and mentally.
What does community mean to you? Everything.. Knowing and getting on with each other and being there for someone if they need help.
What is your favourite training method? Speed walking, and circuit training.
Tell us something we don’t know about you? I have a Voice of an Angel.
What is next for you on this journey? To get myself super fit, then start in the New Year, getting onto different organisations for help, like day centres, care homes etc.
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