A brand new gym housed at 1 Lanark Close in Stockton was given its official opening on Monday (16 March).
Lanark Close provides short break services to people aged between 18 and 65 with an identified learning disability.
The facility, which includes a treadmill, rowing machine and exercise bike, was opened by Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health, along with some of the people who access Lanark Close and their support staff.
The idea for the new exercise equipment came directly from people accessing the service who commented that they would benefit from the opportunity to become more active and get fitter.
Councillor Beall said: “Larger gyms in the community can be daunting for some people with learning disabilities due to the volume of people and noise there so I am very pleased to open these new facilities which will provide a new opportunity for many of the people who access the service here at Lanark Close to improve their health and wellbeing.
“It will allow them to build up their confidence in using gym equipment in a smaller and private setting while, of course, improving their fitness.
“It is difficult for some of the people who access the service at Lanark Close to be active, especially during the harsh weather of the winter months, so the arrival of their own gym will really benefit them.”
Wendy MacDonald, Registered Manager at Lanark Close, said: “We are delighted to have opened the gym and I would like to thank all of the staff at Lanark Close, those using the service and their families for their support and initiative in raising the funds which have allowed us to open this facility, without their support and commitment we could not have achieved this.
“We would also like to thank Tees Active for their helpful advice on the gym equipment. I look forward to seeing it become a popular feature of Lanark Close.”
The cost of the gym, around £2,000, has been funded entirely by the service’s Amenity Fund.
The monies were raised solely by people who use the service, their families and Lanark Close staff who have hosted fundraising events including a summer fair and a sponsored walk around Ropner Park in Stockton – which alone brought in close to £1,000.
Staff at the unit are aiming to make the room, known as the ‘Sun Room’, as realistically close to a gym environment as possible using exercise information posters and positioning a television on the wall which can be seen from all angles.