According to Sport England, one in four people do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week. London gym Jubilee Hall is helping to remove some of the barriers to exercise, and recently refurbished its gym with the help of a Charity Bank loan.
More than 11 million people in England do hardly any exercise. Certain groups are less likely to be regularly active, including women, people on lower incomes and those over 55. Inactivity is a contributory factor for several critical illnesses. As a result, it costs the UK an estimated £7.4 billion each year and is responsible for one in six deaths.
Jubilee Hall Trust operates four gyms across London. The charity has worked hard to make the gyms more inclusive and welcoming to people who don’t usually take part in organised fitness. Significant discounts are available to unemployed people, over 60s, students and people with disabilities. Anyone can sign up to use Jubilee Hall for free on Sundays. There are also free classes for seniors and a women’s running club.
The Trust’s flagship gym in Covent Garden is in a Grade II listed Victorian building. It’s a beautiful space, but was badly in need of refurbishment. The Trust relies on full-price members to subsidise its discounted schemes, but was losing members to local competitors. With the help of a £500,000 loan from Charity Bank and a £150,000 grant from the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Jubilee Hall was able to transform the gym, including creating spaces likely to appeal to under-represented groups. It now has a high-tech cycling studio, lighter free weights zone, upgraded café and a 14.5m2 ‘living wall’ with more than 700 plants.
The gym has increased female users from 18% to 26% since re-opening the gym, and attracted almost 100 new members. It can now compete with other local gyms and increase the impact it’s making on disadvantaged groups.
“I’d recommend Charity Bank as a lender. They’re easy to work with, flexible, willing to listen and efficient. Jubilee Hall has always been an amazing space, but it really has been transformed.”Phil Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Jubilee Hall Trust
About Charity Bank
Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £300m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.
Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.