Ability Bow is a small registered charity, founded by Director Victoria Kent in 2006 with the support of the local community in Bow, east London.
Ability Bow provides inclusive fitness facilities and expert help from our friendly and highly-qualified Instructors. We strive to attract people to the fitness facility who have never used a gym before, or who would not normally take part in exercise. We particularly focus on people who have disabilities or those who would not be able to afford to use a gym. Please see our most recent Annual Report for a summary of our work in 2010-11.
In 1998, 1,200 people signed a petition calling for a disused church, St. Paul's in Bow, to become a place of worship with community activities also within the building. In a subsequent survey a majority indicated that they would like to see a gym in the Church, and Ability Bow Gym was created around that.
When the gym opened in 2005, it was a project of the charity, Ability UK. In 2006 a new organisation and registered charity called Ability Bow was formed by Victoria Kent and board of Trustees. With the support of Ability UK, Ability Bow took over the contract in April 2006 to run the gym independently and won funding from Sport England.
GPs, physiotherapists and other local health professionals began to regularly refer patients to us to join our Exercise Referral Scheme and now indicate that they would like to refer a lot more people as Ability Bow grows as a resource. There is currently tremendous demand for the gym from local people who want to use the gym. The gym tends to attract people who either haven't exercised in a long while, or people who have never exercised before.