Ability bow gym gazette summer 2018

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The Gym Gazette A B I L I T Y B O W G Y M N E W S L E T T E R S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

London Marathon 2018 Success

Meet Samantha

Meet Ability Bow's new disability campaigner and new gym user Samantha Renke 10

See how our 22 global runners got on at Mile 17 on the Big Day 7 PLUS: Meet Our Members

Fit For Life 12 Month Awards

We celebrate our fab Fit For Life 12 Month award winners 13

Simohamed's 10 Years


Inside This Issue COMMUNITY 8 Student Film Screenings Find out how London's local film students have created their first ever films - centred on Ability Bow


11 Bow In The Borough

15 Meet Our Members

See what members of our Fit For Life programme have been up to in Tower Hamlets

Read about how our members are making some life-changing recoveries through our service

17 Day In The Life: Frankie Ability Bow's Frankie tells us more on what makes her tick

19 Vital Volunteers


20 What's On In Bow Take a look at some of the borough's best community activities and services available to you

5 Photo Gallery 6, 9 News 14 Quizzes and Prizes 18 RideLondon 2018 2

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Director's Update


Positive Progress Thank you to all the members who have supported Ability Bow over the past few months, from being filmed in the gym; sharing their stories; or raising much needed money for our charity. Our team works very hard to support gym members to achieve often spectacular results, and we all feel amazing when members support our work in return. The collections tins regularly reach a hundred pounds and we’ve received many donations from our members. We’ve also appreciated numerous thank you gestures, such as cards, reviews, biscuit tins and even a delicious home cooked meal (hot from the oven no less),


Dynamic Director: Victoria Kent Outstanding Operations Manager: Si Mohamed Dahiri Fabulous Fitness Instructors: Patrick Trotman Tony Snook Remarkable Receptionists: David Sparks Frankie Joseph Vital Volunteers: Michael Berry Sabina Khatun Sarah Halls-Craggs Tim O'Flaherty And: Stuart Wilson!

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so we know how much our service means to the people we support; we’re feeling the love, thank you! Fabulous Filming Recently we’ve partnered Four Corners to produce some films about Ability Bow. Members told their stories and were filmed in the gym, with some singing on camera! We also a great time attending the grand screening of the Four Corners students' films for both us and the Half Moon Theatre charity.

Marvellous Marathon On a hot Sunday in April at the London Marathon, staff and members watched for Ability Bow runners to give them a cheer as they ran past mile 17. Admittedly, there were random sun tans at work on Monday (me, I was sporting one red arm - my waving arm I think). Keeping Fit For Life Training throughout winter and Our Fit for Life members' then running a sweltering 26.2 achievements were also miles must have been intense, applauded at our recent Fit for but our runners were incredible. Life Open Day, when the lovely Ability Bow supporter Samantha Our runners' donations are Renke gave out certificates and invested in our gym and we couldn't do our work without it. goodie bags. The gym's operations manager Si Mohamed Essentially, this is an extra large thanks to our runners; thanks so described how people had overcome obstacles to exercise much guys! and had reached their goals, Ability Bow gym Director & where an attendee said it was Founder Victoria Kent 'inspiring and uplifting to hear'.


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Photo Gallery

London Marathon 2018 Fit For Life Open Day AND: Our Marathon Top Fundraising Prize Winners

OUR BOARD Bal Kullar Chirag Desai Colin O'Connor Fred Baron Harriet Vernon Nicola Morris Nicki Heflet Nigel Newton-Sawyer Sharron Currie Siobhan Lanigan


Stroke Group NeuroAbiity Join In DeafAbility Fit For Life Find more of our projects at: www.abilitybow.org/ activities

FIND US St Paul's Church, St Stephen's Road, Bow, London, E3 5JL


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News From The Gym Ten-Up For Si Mohamed Go Graham!

Si Mohamed (centre right) with his daughter Our outstanding operations manager Si Mohamed Dahiri is celebrating a terrific 10 years at Ability Bow! Joining in May 2008, Si Mohamed has worked in various gym roles, including as a part-time fitness instructor, with his achievements including helping provide gym staff with a new kitchen! Si Mohamed says: "Our team live and breathe the gym's values, and it’s a pleasure working with them!" Read more at www.abilitybow.org/blog


Our very own Graham Naylor - who was fighting for his life in a coma for 10 days after an avalanche accident in the French Alps - has raised more than £4,000 for our gym through his Team Ability Bow fundraising campaign. Including gathering global funds from fans of his DJ and producer friend, the late Marcus Intalex, Graham is continuing his incredible recovery at our gym following his Hypoxic brain injury diagnosis which affects his speech and mobility. Read more and support Graham by visiting: www.abilitybow.org/blog

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Magnificent Marathon Runners Impress At London Marathon 2018 A team of 22 fantastic dedicated worldwide runners - including those competing in their first ever official marathon - were cheered on by our Ability Bow team at mile 17 for the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22 April 2018.

James O’Connell leading the way in just 3 hours and 18 minutes. Funds raised from the event which saw over 40,000 runners take part in the warmest ever marathon at 24 degrees celsius will all be invested within inner London’s only disability and long term health conditions rehabilitation gym, with around £40,000 expected to be generated in donations.

The magnificent marathon squad - including 5 overseas runners, with four from Beijing, China and one from California, USA - all completed the gruelling 26.2 mile course challenge within 7 hours Read more on our News page at for our service, with 34-year-old www.abilitybow.org/blog


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Fantastic First Films Created By Dynamic Local Trainees For Our Gym Some of London's newest talented film trainees have created some stunning videos documenting the Ability Bow gym in what is their first ever attempt at film making. Trainees at Bethnal Green-based Four Corners each produced separate pieces earlier this year capturing the lives and work of Ability Bow gym users and staff. Ability Bow got involved with Four Corners in January 2018, whose impressive ZOOM programme trainees were able to benefit from the company's creative software and its invaluable training


and wide-ranging expertise. Trainee Bianca Phillips - who has previously volunteered for the gym - says: "It was great to return in this capacity and tell audiences what amazing work Ability Bow does for exercise and disabilities. "The editing process was fantastic and creating a story to help Ability Bow was great. "Learning to put a film together gives me many new skills too." Read the full story on our News page at www.abilitybow.org/blog

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NewsFrom FromThe TheGym Gym News Awesome Abseil

A fantastic friend of Ability Bow has generated more than £2,000 for our gym, following an awesome abseil challenge scaling Church Langley Water Tower in Essex this May. Diana Jones took part in the daring fundraiser - which involved a 110 feet 'free-fall' down the tower known as the Goblet for its shape - on behalf of one of her friends who currently attends our gym. Diana says: "The funds raised made it more than worthwhile to go over and above for Ability Bow. "It's also great to have fame at last!"


Total Top-Up Ability Bow gym members are set to benefit from a 'top-up' extension to the programmes they already participate in - or are waiting to join - thanks to an exciting new £5,000 grant from Clarion Futures; the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group. The funding will facilitate the initial pilot scheme that will see 20 of our gym members who live within Clarion Housing properties, benefit from a block of 10 extra gym sessions. Expected to run from midJune 2018, the top-up aims to aid gym user recoveries and if successful, could potentially become a gym mainstay subject to funds.

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Introducing Ability Bow's Disability Campaigner: Samantha Renke Samantha Renke is living an incredibly active and varied life. "I am very blessed and have had a rich and interesting 32 years on this earth - everything I am luckily involved with is special in its own way", Sam says. Sam is the first to admit she has experienced self-doubt and fears. But for the German-born, Shoreditch-based fitness fan (who moved to and grew up in Lancashire as a child) and fulltime wheelchair user, showing strength against adversity has been essential.


This inner-resilience has ensured she's been able to achieve, raise awareness and support others throughout her life, including as a former teacher and now as an award-winning actress and multicharity campaigner; not to mention recent stints as a guest on ITV's Loose Women and as a debut ITV News reporter on disability cycling games - in association with east Londonbased and inclusive bicycle repairs and rider training charity, Bikeworks - within London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park last month. We decided to find out more from

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Sam about why she's joined our gym to not only use and benefit from our specialist team including our highly qualified instructors - but why she wants to raise further awareness about accessibility within fitness facilities. Sam Renke at the Fit For Life Open DayÂ


Q. Why did you decide to campaign for action and equality for disabled people?

Q. Hi Sam - welcome to Ability Bow. Tell us more about you? A. Hi Ability Bow. Thank you for welcoming me.

A. As a former teacher, I know the more we share and develop we can gain strength.

I have a rare genetic disorder I'm keen to highlight to the media called Osteogenesis Imperfecta inclusion is key and disabled or more commonly known, Brittle people deserve to be represented Bone condition. authentically. As most of my friends are already gym regulars, I felt I was missing something fun and ultimately, something to increase my quality of life.

Q. Why are you passionate about people?

A. People are fascinating and we're all in it together - like Ability Bow and I'd rather focus on working with others rather than battling and But then I was able to eventually hating. discover Ability Bow gym and I can say that the rest is indeed Read the full article - including history. Q&A - at www.abilitybow.org/blog


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Bow In The Borough

We've been out and about a lot over the past few weeks in Tower Hamlets, with our members enjoying some outdoor community engagement activities all through our Fit For Life programme! Focusing on building a healthier life - and run in partnership with Bromley-By-Bow-Centre, Homerton University Hospital and NHS Foundation Trust - our Fit For Life members enjoyed trips around the borough in visits to Mile End and Poplar


baths for community swimming, as well as participating in the latest series of healthy eating workshops run by Ability Bow's partner dietician. We also collected some healthy snacks from the Co-op Mile End (find out more overleaf!). View our Fit For Life page and other programmes at www.abilitybow.org/activities

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Fit For Life 12 Month Awards Ability Bow gym user and Pearly Queen of Tower Hamlets Lorraine Sadler was one of 17 participants recognised for their achievements at the recent Fit For Life Open Day on 16 April 2018. Lorraine - who is recovering from a brain aneurysm which kept her in her 'bedroom for a year' - was awarded a 12-month Fit For Life completion certificate by gym staff for her efforts in front of around 45 attendees at the event; including Pearly King of Tower Hamlets and fellow Fit For Life programme completer; husband, Terry Sadler.

wellbeing-based services and activities on the day such as Bromley by Bow Centre's (BBBC) walking football team and Social Action For Health.

We also presented some healthy snacks and in-store vouchers to our 2018 London Marathon running top fundraisers from fellow athlete and partner, Safiul Azam, from the Mile End Co-Op on the day. Run in partnership across BBBC and Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust services, Fit For Life has helped more than 200 people exercise since it started at the gym in 2013.

Featuring fun activities including smoothie making, the open day Find out more about the day at also connected guests with various Tower Hamlets health and www.abilitybow.org/blog


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Quizzes and Prizes It's time for the Ability Bow newsletter quiz! A goodie bag is up for grabs for one each of three lucky people who get all 10 correct answers! For a chance to win, answer the questions below, like/follow us on either Facebook/Twitter search 'Ability Bow' on Google and send your answers to stuart.wilson@abilitybow.org or hand your answers in at our Ability Bow reception if you're a member! THE QUIZ QUESTIONS 1: What year was Ability Bow gym first founded? 2: How many years has Si Mohamed worked at Ability Bow gym? 3: What's the name of Ability Bow's director? 4: What's our receptionist


Frankie's favourite dish? 5: What famous title does Lorraine Sadler currently hold? 6: What street is Ability Bow in? 7: How many runners ran for our gym in this year's London Marathon? 8: How old is Sherner Mehmet? 9: What's the name of Graham Naylor's late DJ friend? 10: How many paid staff does our gym have (excluding volunteers?) Submit your answers by September 1st 2018 (your answers will of course still be accepted even if you don't 'like'/'follow' us on social media!) Thank you and best of luck!

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Meet MeetOur OurMembers! Members

We're incredibly proud of our magnificent members! We meet Derek, Sherner and Andrew to see how their lives are being enhanced by visiting our gym.

He says coming to Ability Bow is very different to other gyms and really aids his progressive Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis (first diagnosed in 1998).

Derek Farrar loves our gym.

"I often found people ignored me when I went to other gyms and I wanted something different", says Derek.

"The very fact I've been able to keep physically active for longer and with no issue, is an amazing achievement in itself given my condition and it's all thanks to Ability Bow", says Derek, 61.

"That's when I found Ability Bow and everyone here is so sociable and they gee you along to help you physically when you need it, First joining our gym seven years which inspires you every time you ago, Derek has become a regular visit." independent user of our gym. Attending three times a week, he Derek is not the only one to focuses his energy on using our recommend our gym, which has specialist equipment, including a existed in its current form since Functional Electrical Stimulation 2006 - as it was previously known (FES) bike. as Ability UK beforehand.


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Sherner Mehmet, 57, also loves Ability Bow and is always smiling. Only joining us last October, he already feels part of the gym's 'family'.

perhaps feared." But what are the key reasons why our members keep wanting to return to our gym?

"Coming to the gym is probably 'The gym helps you face the my life now really, as it's so much day. Without it, that would fun", says Sherner. He adds: "The be a whole lot trickier!' little victories I gain here from myself and those I see in others who attend, enhance both mine For another one of our members, and their lives." 56-year-old Andrew Stewart who has anxiety - he thoroughly For Sherner, his life is gradually recommends the gym's improving. Visiting the gym 5 'empowering environment'. days a week, he rarely misses a day and says the gym has not "What I've observed is so many only developed his physical people here are determined to go wellbeing, it's also refreshed his to the edge of their experience mindset. and stay with it," Andrew replies. "I used to find it overwhelming to "People who join the gym are face people and walk out my front never judged. There's an door", says Sherner. acceptance here of the person and what you can do. He adds: "Since being at the gym and talking to our brilliant "Ability Bow helps people get instructors, they've helped me out and face the day and without realise these barriers I've faced it, that could definitely be a aren't anywhere near as big as I whole lot trickier!"


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Day In The Life: Frankie Meet Frankie. She's one of our remarkable receptionists, who's been at our gym for just over 18 months. She spoke to us more about her role at our gym and why she loves working here! Where do you live: Locally in Bow. When did you first hear about the gym: When I was searching locally for jobs part-time. What's a day in the life like for you at our gym: As the morning receptionist, I check emails and phone messages and check in gym members as they arrive. I'm also a friendly face and able to resolve any members' queries and I also do many admin tasks. How have you found it working here: It's great; colleagues and gym members are all lovely people and it's such a pleasant atmosphere. Why are you passionate about people: Because there's lots


to learn from others. It's enriching and inspiring to hear others' opinions and experiences and it's rewarding when I feel I make a difference to someone. What new skills have you learnt since being here? I'm better at multi-tasking and far more confident on the phone. Biggest achievement: Bringing up my two children and my first solo delivery of a baby at college. Favourite music/artist? It's mood dependent, though I favour rock and alternative. Favourite food: Indian Biryani. Favourite person: Lorraine, my aunt; she's the kindest and most level-headed person I know.

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Watch Our Riders Ray and Chris Cycle For Us In The 2018

Our riders are taking on the ultimate 100 mile cycling challenge to raise vital funds for our gym in the hugely popular annual Prudential RideLondon Surrey-100 Classic! Ray Fielding and Chris Graves are both very experienced cyclists - with the former pedalling for us at the past two events and aiming to raise more than £1,000 for our gym in 2018.

WHY NOT JOIN US IN ST JAMES' PARK, LONDON, ON SUNDAY 29 JULY 2018 FROM MIDDAY TO CHEER OUR CHAMPION CYCLISTS ON! Find out more at: www.abilitybow.org/get-involved 18

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Vital Volunteers As it's just past national Volunteering Week, we chat to our vital Ability Bow volunteers and see the difference they make for our charity; as well as showing how you can get involved too! Our volunteers help to make us who we are! Sarah Hall-Craggs - who provides gym support to our instructors Patrick and Tony - and Tim O'Flaherty, who offers admin support to our operations manager Si Mohamed, briefly explain why they love volunteering for us! Sarah says: "Each instructor here maintains best practice, so you never feel unsafe or unsure of what to do. By volunteering here you quickly see how your contribution makes others feel positive; which is obviously rewarding. As I live on my own now and miss being around people, being at the gym gives you contact and it's great."

and I really wanted to give back, so I thought I'd return the compliment. It's great to challenge myself again!" GET INVOLVED! You can make a difference!

Take a look at our various opportunities - from reception, to events, and Tim says: "I decided to volunteer for financial/income support Ability Bow as they've helped me with at: www.abilitybow.org/getmy Multiple Sclerosis as a gym member involved-new/volunteer


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What's On In Bow

TO REFER: Call: 0207 791 9487 Visit: www.compaswellbeing.co.uk You can also talk to your GP about us! Meet likeminded people at various free events for The Great Get Together on 22-24 June. Celebrating community togetherness, find an event near you at: www.greatgetogether.org/find


View amazing pictures of Roman Road Market at Idea Stow Bow until 24 June as part of the Roman Road Then And Now photography exhibition. Find out more at: www.ideastore.co.uk/whats-on

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