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Big Fun Run 2019 Find out how you can become a Big Fun Run hero and help fund our gym this October! 7-8

Day In The Life

Meet Catherine Meet our London Bridge terror attack survivor and recovering gym member Catherine 11-12

PLUS: Meet Our Members

What's On

We speak to our fabulous fitness instructor Katie on her role with our gym. 19

Healthy Eating Advice/Tips

Inside This Issue ACTIVITIES 13 Bow In The Borough Read more about what we got up to at our Discovery Day and our 30 award winners!


20 What's On In Bow

15-16 Meet Our Members Read about how our members are making some life-changing recoveries through our service.

Get involved in super local offers ranging from mental health to older people's activities all in Tower Hamlets.



14 Donate In Just 5 Minutes!

5 Photo Gallery 6&9 News From The Gym 10 Marathon Flashback

Help us to win a £28,000 grant by pledging to our brilliant disability exercise crowdfunding campaign!

Revisit the 2019 Marathon!

17 We Need Your Stories! Fancy featuring in our publicity material? You can help us to help you by sharing your life-changing stories and experiences at our gym!


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Director's Update


Dynamic Director: Victoria Kent Excellent Executive Assistant: Frankie Joseph It really has been Fabulous Fitness fundraising fever Instructors: for our service. Katie Pemberton We've obviously Patrick Trotman had our wonderful Tony Snook annual London Our director Victoria Kent Marathon earlier Fantastic 50 Plus crossing the start line at this year, where we Business the 2018 Big Fun Run. Administrator: were delighted to Christos Costa raise a fantastic £45,000 thanks to our Marvellous Mental remarkable runners and you, our super Health Instructors: supporter team; thank you! Drew Nicholls Samuel Johnson-Quiah Big Fun Run Outstanding Not only that, but we're also gearing up to Operations Manager: take part in the autumnal feeling Big Fun Si Mohamed Dahiri Run. Remember a warm coat and weather Remarkable appropriate clothing if you're supporting Receptionist: us as a runner, marshal or one of our Rochelle Fray cheering squad on 20 October in Vicky Vital Volunteers: Park (we'll find you a role and keep Berni, Christine, Khalid, reading this newsletter to find out how you Michael, Sonia, Tim. can get involved on page 7/8!). We're also And: Stuart Wilson! delighted to welcome our gym's regular

Fundraising Focus


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Big Fun Run entrant Albie Ollivierre who always raises fantastic amounts for us by walking the 3.1 mile course, our incredibly experienced marathon runner Jennifer Walker and her son, as well as our staff team members (Rochelle, we know you can do it!). We Need You Now! We also really need your help with our exciting digital crowdfunding campaign via our community platform providers, Spacehive. We may never be able to deliver long-term one-toone exercise for complex health conditions if we don't get the funds we need; so your support is key! Thank you so much to the 50+ backers who've already pledged £1,600 in just over a week since we officially launched; it's so amazingly appreciated! IIt takes just five minutes, so if you're able to spare some small funds, visit www.spacehive.comdisabled-people-work-hard-andget-fit


click 'Back this project!', pledge some pennies and share with your friends. We need £4,300 by Friday 25th October to be eligibile for significant community funding, so please get pledging as soon as you can! You can keep updated at urgym and flick to page 14 in this newsletter too for more info. Finally and most importantly, we're incredibly delighted to welcome our new business administrator Christos Costa, who you can find out more about in the next edition of our newsletter (so keep your eyes peeled on social media @abilitybow and if you're not already following us, it's worth doing)! All the best Christos! Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoy this newsletter! Ability Bow Director and Founder Victoria Kent.

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Photo Gallery


Pictures of the 2019 London Marathon AND our summer highlights including our Discovery Day

Andrew Byron Bal Kullar Chirag Desai Colin O'Connor Fred Baron Harriet Vernon Nicki Heflet Sharron Currie Siobhan Lanigan


Join In Keep Moving Neuro Ability Positive Steps Stroke Group Find more of our projects at: activities.

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


The Gym Gazette

News From The Gym Rosie Leaving On A High

Cancer Rehab People currently living with cancer - including survivors - can refer to our new cancer rehab sessions.

Our vibrant volunteer coordinator Rosie Vincent We're sad to announce our vibrant volunteer coordinator Rosie Vincent has left us for a fantastic new opportunity after a fabulous five months with our service and creation of a new varied volunteer programme. Rosie, 23, has just started leading Roman Road Trust as its chief executive after securing three new permanent volunteers for us and overseeing a dedicated new volunteering section on our website. We wish Rosie all the best for the future! Read lots more about Rosie's new role at:


The 12 week programme planned for January 2020 to April 2020 - will cost just ÂŁ5; featuring circuit-based exercise classes and cancer-focused exercise education sessions every Tuesday on the ground floor, St Paul's Church, from 10:15am to 11:30pm. To join, you'll have a clinical cancer diagnosis, stable health condition, need your GP to complete a referral form and be aged 16 plus. For more info and a chance to join, visit our Cancer Rehab webpage.

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Big Fun Run 2019: Be Part Of It All! It's that time again for you to be a hero and join our team for the best local fun run there is; the Big Fun Run 2019 in Victoria Park, Bow, on Sunday 20 October 2019. Whether run, jog, walk, crawl (kids are also welcome at the untimed 5k event) get social and relax with our Ability Bow team at this family friendly fundraising run. You'll not only be having fun while you compete in this low impact event, you'll be raising vital funds for our disabilities and long-term health conditions exercise service (find out how/who you're helping on page 8). Thank you and join in!


The Event Basics When: Sunday 20 October 2019 (Meet at 10:30am for registration if running/if you're generally supporting the team, you're welcome to turn up anytime from 10:30am-11am by our gazebo). Where: Victoria Park, Bow, near Lock House Gate entrance (Parnell Road). How to enter: Sign up via the Big Fun Run 2019 Ability Bow webpage asap: Or...PLEASE be a marshal on the day: We get ÂŁ40 for everyone who participates as a marshal on the course. To be a marshal/find out more: You can email for a paper sponsorship form. More info: Visit our website page at:

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How Your Funds Help Our Gym

£25 could pay for an

instructor to deliver a group disability exercise session at our gym.

£63 could pay for a 1:1 exercise

session with one of our specialist fully qualified instructors.

With Multiple Donations...

£840 has enabled us to support gym member Jocelyn to go from wheelchair to walking again via our unique Functional Electrical Stimulation bike.

£3,024 could support

someone with their exercise for a whole year.

Thank You! You are enabling a lasting positive change for people at our gym!


LivesYou'reHelpingToChange Our admin volunteer and gym member Berni Deenihan. I felt depressed and could barely walk upstairs due to a hip injury so referred to Ability Bow. Thanks to the team and Tony my lead instructor, I lost a stone in 12 weeks. Thanks to you and your Big Fun Run funds, I've been able to care better for myself and my Mum and give back to the gym and others here through volunteering (visit page 15). Our Wheelfit and wheelchair to standing gym member Rosie I came to Ability Bow with a challenging brain injury. Within just three Wheelfit exercise sessions I could stand from my wheelchair. Thanks to your funds, you've helped the gym team and I achieve incredible progress.

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News From The Gym Front Page Headlines

Thanks Q Consult! Five fantastic Queen Mary University of London students have produced a stunning Ability Bow merchandise business plan.

Our gym members Sister Catherine and Karl's fantastic news headlines

Two of our amazing Ability Bow members have secured us front page news headlines; including a first front page in the newspaper version of the Docklands and East London Advertiser. Sister Catherine Msoni - who you can read more about on page 11 in this edition - and Karl Jarvis, who lives with a brain injury after surviving a motorbike accident and is now '4 months from walking', helped us get more fantastic coverage of what we do. Well done both! Read our member stories at: Want to tell your story? See page 17!


The university's QConsult team liaised with staff and gym members this summer about new merchandise product ideas - including through a merchanside survey - before presenting findings to our staff team. Ability Bow Director and Founder Victoria Kent says: "Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed and we'll aim to present a new merchandise selection in 2020 based on your vital feedback."

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Magnificent Marathon Team Raise £45,000 For Our Service Our magnificent marathon team have run up a terrific total of £45,000 for our service after completing the Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 in April. 26 runners took on the 26.2 mile challenge in mixed conditions while absorbing a host of landmarks from Big Ben to The Cutty Sark across the capital. Greeted emphatically by our Ability Bow cheer team at mile 17 on the Isle of Dogs, our service's remarkable runners completed the iconic annual event all within seven hours (with our team's fastest runner Malcolm Pritchard just one hour 9 minutes slower than elite athlete Sir Mo Farah on the day).


Featuring 11 east London-based runners local to our charity disabilities and long-term health conditions exercise service, our super fundraising running squad also included Japanese 72-yearold athlete Koji Noda, who was running his 12th marathon after being hit by a car just 11 years ago. Ability Bow Director and Founder Victoria Kent says: "We're so thrilled with our invaluable marathon runners and to everyone who's supported and donated to us; thank you." To apply for a chance to run for us in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, log on to:

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Meet Catherine: Life At Our Gym After London Terror Attack According to Mind, 7.8 in 100 people experience both mixed anxiety and depression. And on Saturday 3 June 2017, Ability Bow gym member Sister Catherine Msoni's life and mentality changed forever when she experienced the harrowing and traumatic effects of the London Bridge terror attacks. We spoke to the Stepney Green based charity worker on how she's walking back to health and receiving life-changing physical and emotional support at our gym.

Standing by a bus stop beside London's Borough Market, the Divine Rescue employee fell to her feet and injured her lower legs after running from a white van involved in the London Bridge terror attacks. Hitting a pole and causing a scramble which led Catherine to flee the scene and injure her knee and lower legs, the terrorists formed part of a nightmare event for Miss Msoni and other innocent victims (with eight people killed on the tragic night).

"I still have a lot of trauma related to the attacks including flashbacks and nightmares," says Meet Catherine No one ever could have expected Catherine, "and I was left so depressed after the incident with the chaos that occurred during little confidence to continue living the evening of 3 June 2017; let my daily life effectively." alone Sister Catherine Msoni.


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Indeed, Sister Catherine, 49, was left with both significant physical and emotional scars. But this didn't stop Catherine's determination in seeking help. Joining Ability Bow in 2018, Catherine has been able to go from being 'hardly able to walk well' following the attacks to being able to balance and walk unaided. Catherine says: "Attending the gym makes me feel so valuable and appreciated and thanks to the staff like personal trainer Tony (Snook) and all of the gym's members, I can proudly say I've been so supported through it all at this gym; thank you to Ability Bow."

Catherine Msoni working out hard at our third floor gym (which is based at the unique setting of St Paul's Church, Bow) aided her mental and emotional recovery. Catherine adds: "What's been so fantastic since being here is I'm so grateful to have the chance and to relate to those at Ability Bow who've had similar frightening experiences and attacks and it's helped me so much through the hard times. "My mental health has really enhanced and it feels so great to start recovering gradually again as much or as little as I feel able to do."

But while Catherine has made huge progress since starting at our service - which provides tailored exercise support for people with disabilities and longterm health conditions - she says To read more life-changing stories the ability to relate to those with about our gym members visit: similar experiences has really


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Bow In The Borough

It's been a summer of achievements for our awesome Ability Bow gym members and supporters following a dynamic Discovery Day and vibrant City and Hackney Recovery College Awards.

events, we've also taken Ability Bow on the road through our Ability Bow volunteer ambassador Khalid Pervez, at both the Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum and Women's Hall Garden Party over the summer.

Celebrating individual members' specific gym-based fitness and wellbeing goals, our June Discovery Day saw around 60 guests including 30 recipients of Ability Bow Achievers Awards.

Ability Bow Operations Manager Si Mohamed Dahiri, says: "Well done to those awarded at both events with individual achievements - big and small - as well as Khalid and our team for showcasing our service locally including our volunteering offer."

As well as the two achievers


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News Gym Donate & BeFrom A HeroThe In 5 Minutes

Help our magnificent members to make big and small changes within our community

Got five minutes? Got a spare few quid or much much more? Do you love our gym and what we do? We're aiming to raise £28,000 as part of our exciting online crowdfunding campaign to help deliver more long-term one-to-one disability exercise sessions and community classes to people with disabilities and long-term health conditions in Tower Hamlets. How You Can Help Now! (You've Got Until Friday 25 October!) 1) Go to


2) Click 'Back this project!' 3) Enter as little as £2-£3, albeit, we'd love you to raise as much as you feel you can give (as we have received donations ranging anywhere from £5-£200 so far). 4) Share with your friends and spread the word. Thank You; You're A Hero! By contributing to our digital crowdfunding campaign, you have just helped us get closer to providing permanent one-to-one exercise for disabled people (something we may never get without significant funding like this). Thank you so much!

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Meet Our Members Our magnificent members Kim Cousins and Bernadette Deenihan are making incredible recoveries at our service both physically and mentally. We caught up with them to see why they vouch for us so highly.

the symptoms I had could be because of menopausal changes, stress and anxiety," Kim says, "we felt it could be more and once we got a thorough diagnosis, we were told it was Parkinson's; and it changed how I looked at life."

Kim Cousins’ life changed dramatically two years ago.

But knowing where to go wasn't easy.

Although the 60-year-old Limehouse resident had visited hospital twice before a Parkinson’s diagnosis - after experiencing a loss of balance and shaking - both Kim and her partner were convinced further attention was needed to fully understand Kim’s symptoms.

So once Kim found our charity service and joined in January 2019, she says she vividly remembers her experience and how much it all improved so quickly.

"Although doctors at the time felt


"When I first joined Ability Bow, I couldn't walk without a stick and I cried; but after working with Tony Snook (our personal trainer), he

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was able to put me so much at ease and being at Ability Bow ensured I felt like me again." For Kim, Ability Bow really has changed her life. The live music fan and family enthusiast, says it's also helped managed her work-life balance.

be taken for granted. "Since joining Ability Bow, I felt before the gym I'd never ever be a size 12 dress size again and I had real anger and sadness towards myself.

"But thanks to being here and working on what is the best "Ability Bow has made me feel exercise rehab programme I've able to take my disability away ever undertaken, it's boosted my even in the workplace - and gives mood no end and now I do lots of me inspiration to do my job walking and can venture out without feeling deflated and feeling great about myself, all unable to show up for the day thanks to the amazing community which is also a fantastic bonus which makes up Ability Bow." and what you can easily take for granted in many ways; so Ability Bernadette, who's an ex-business Bow has really saved my life." analyst, has also been empowered to join our volunteering It's not just Kim who's been able programme as an administration to feel fantastic benefits since assistant. joining our charity gym - which was formed in 2006 from Ability "I love it and I always want to give UK. back to Ability Bow; I feel so grateful." 63-year-old Bernadette Deenihan has also been able to see huge Read member stories like this at: results in areas which can easily


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We Need Your Gym Stories! Gym members; we need you and your stories! We've been able to achieve seven pieces of local newspaper and editorial coverage in just seven months during 2018-19; and with your help we can put even more of your life-changing achievements on the front page! From Graham Naylor's snowboarding challenge with the Big Life Fix and recovery at our gym - after experiencing a hypoxic brain injury after a lifechanging avalanche accident - to Richard Palmer managing to feel visible again after developing social confidence through exercise with his autism spectrum condition, we know it all counts at our inclusive gym!

Why Your Stories Matter: *Raise awareness of our gym. *Generate more funds for you and your exercise. *Give you and your condition a voice and explain how you make big or small changes with us (it all counts!). Help Us To Help You With Your Story Fancy telling us your story via video/written article/online?

Email: stuart. wilson@ability or So how you can help us with your phone: story? Take a look here>> 07799 327154.


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Fitness Focus:Survey Events Engagement Healthy Eating

Want to know how to eat healthily? As part of our new Fitness Focus section every newsletter, we're going to be showcasing fitness and health and wellbeing pointers which you could apply (including based on specific disabilities and health conditions). Take a look! NHS Eatwell Guide Each of our Ability Bow highly advanced and fully-qualified fitness instructors work to NHS healthy eating guidelines to help our clients get the nutritional support needed. Eating well and monitoring portions can truly aid mood and weight loss.


Key Points To Remember Daily fruit and veg: Eat at least 5 portions daily. Base your meals...on higher fibre or wholegrain carbohydrates (ie wholeweat pasta or brown rice). Oily fish: Eat more fish such as salmon, trout and sardines. Reduce saturated fat and sugar: Men should have no more than 30g (grams) a day/women 20g. Reduce salt: Not above 6g daily. Get active & be a healthy weight: Visit eat-well for advice on this and for many more top NHS tips!

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Day In The Life: Katie Meet Katie. She’s our 26-year-old fabulous fitness instructor, who began her new role this February at our disabilities and long-term health conditions exercise service. She spoke to us more about why she loves her role! Where do you live: Shepherd's Bush, west London. What’s your education/career background: I’ve got a computing degree but decided to take a personal training course a couple of years after graduating. What's a day in the life like for you at our gym: My role involves ensuring everyone is using the gym safely, planning tailored sessions to clients' needs and creating a welcoming environment such as having some chit-chat. How easily have you settled in: Very easily; the gym members and staff are all really friendly and welcoming.


Why did you decide to join us: I wanted to find an exercise specialist position so I could help people with long-term health conditions and disabilities move and enjoy exercise. Why would you recommend someone join as a gym member: Ability Bow is a super friendly place to train, is non-judgemental and relaxed. What's great is that you can sign up if you have both a health condition/disability, or if you don't and you can use it independently. What's the difference between us and more corporate gyms: Members find it far easier to chat. Hobbies/interests: Travelling, reading, singing and dancing.

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What's On In Bow Get Involved in Good Moves! Enjoy the FREE partner exercise course at the Sundial Centre offering healthy eating and gentle

Join in with the annual Tower Hamlets Accessibility Day. What: FREE information and advice sessions detailing local transport options within the borough. When: Thursday 3 October, exercise activties. Sessions - varying from diabetes, 10am-4pm. Where: Mile End Art Pavilion, cardiovascular, chronic kidney Clinton Road, E3 4QY. diagnosis - will run at Sundial Centre, 11 Shipton Street, E2, 7RU To book your place: email: robert.morton@ from Monday 7 October to 25 or call: Novemeber (10:30am-12:30pm). 07949 442396. Book by calling: 0203 828 3928. Need mental health support? Join Mind's emotional wellbeing services and activities at


Want to take part in daily social activities? Over 50? Live in Bow and Mile End? Join Age UK-led activities. When: 9:30am-11.30am, every Thursday. Where: Various locations across the borough. More info: Call 0208 981 7124/02039543202. Find out about our gym at The Gym GazetteÂ

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