A personal trainer from Pinner is encouraging residents to support people with mental health problems through his non-profit organisation, by entering a prize draw to win a huge sum of £25,000.
Back in January, Matthew Wolstenhome, 39, had launched a non-profit organisation called The Fitness Community (TFC), providing free personal training sessions to boost residents mental health.
Over the last six months, the non-profit has gone from strength to strength, working alongside the Harrow social prescribing service, which refers people whose mental health would benefit from exercise to The Fitness Community project. Sessions are flexible and take place across local parks such as Pinner Memorial Park, residents homes and the gym space at Harrow School.
Founder Matthew, of Mount Park Road in Pinner, said: “Part of it is that one-to-one connection, getting people out, talking, moving, being empathetic to how they are feeling and taking part in meaningful activity and exercise.”
TFC has now partnered with a council-run scheme, Harrow Wins lottery, to raise vital funding to continue providing free sessions. The Harrow Wins lottery works by purchasing a ticket priced at £1 per week, with the potential to scoop up a huge £25,000 prize for matching all the numbers correctly.
Matthew added: “It’s a fantastic way to help those who really need it. At The Fitness Community, we see first-hand the massive impact exercise can have in boosting people’s mental health.
“The feedback we have had has been amazing. It’s hugely rewarding – I feel very proud of what we’re doing. We rely on funding like this to keep us going, so any help is hugely appreciated.”
Discussing his motivation for starting The Fitness Community, Matthew said: “I see a lot of people for their physical health and I realised I could help people with mental health too. The Fitness Community aims to help people who may not otherwise be able to afford personal training and who are suffering from their mental health, to use exercise as a kind of therapy.”
The Fitness Community is determined to use exercise as a tool to change the lives of people across the borough with mental health problems.
Matthew concluded: “Everyone in the community has been very supportive. The people that we have been seeing for the sessions have given fantastic feedback, and the same with the professional organisations, the feedback has been great. Now we have shown that what we do works, we are looking at what other funding is out there so we can keep helping the community.
“People recognise mental health is a big issue, especially with the pandemic at the moment, and I am trying to do something proactive to help people.”
To enter the lottery, visit www.harrowwins.co.uk/support/the-fitness-community
For more information on The Fitness Community, head to www.thefitnesscommunity.org.uk