In November 2016, due to a lack of adequate government funding, we hit a funding crisis , and we were forced to reduce to a skeleton service losing half our staff and reducing services. This means that currently the gym is open for people who are well enough to exercise independently after their 12 weeks of support , but is closed for people with complex needs who need continuing one:one help afterwards . Sadly that’s 60% of people referred here!
Why is our gym important?
In our first decade we raised £3.5 million to support 3650 disabled people to exercise. As you know we have been campaigning tirelessly for many months with vital help from service user Richard so that we may contibue helping as many disabled people as we can to get stronger and fitter. With accessible gym space, specialist wheelchair accessible equipment, and Specialist GP referral qualified instructors, it is the only place of its kind in London . Our service saves the NHS and Social Services money by rehabilitating people and making them more independent. We think that our video of gym member Grace , Wheelchair to Walking says it all , please take a look here .
What is Ability Bow's current situation?
The City Bridge Trust grant that we received in April was a very helpful and timely win, as it has secured us 3-year funding for a new mental health project. This means that we can develop some exercise activities in community venues to support people with mental ill health. We are really excited to be able to start new work with this client group, but it is important to note that we continue to appeal for funding of our core work - while we lack adequate government funding for our core service we cannot afford to work with people with complex conditions, in effect, the most needy of our service.
We are raising awareness through our campaign and raising funds through our appeal to try and regain our unique long term rehab. In short, we are always trying to generate funds in all sorts of ways. We have contractual partnerships with LBTH and City & Hackney CCG to support a set number of local people with health issues to exercise . We also work with support from various charitable trusts, and national funders including Sport England and the Big Lottery Fund to expand the number of people we can reach…..
We remain 100% committed to supporting the most vulnerable disabled population in accessible, affordable exercise sessions . Any support you can give on our campaign or fundraising efforts is greatly appreciated. Please contact us if you would like to join our Friends of Ability Bow action group or see our How You Can Help flier online or in the gym.