New gym aims to provide healthy boost for Hartlepool homeless centre

Young homeless people at a supported living service in Hartlepool will soon be able to get in shape at their own gym.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 2:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 2:13 pm
Staff at Sanctuary Supported Living delighted by the new gym equipment. Picture by Frank Reid.

Sanctuary Supported Living, in Victoria Road, opened around a year ago and provides a place to stay for people aged between 16 and 25 who have become homeless, often due to family breakdowns.

Soon, residents will be able to stay in shape and help get motivated for life after deciding to start their own gym.

Measuring up. A storage room has been turned into a gym at Sanctuary Supported Living in Hartlepool.

The scheme has also been supported by Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall, winner of the Sporting Excellence award in the Hartlepool Mail Best of Hartlepool Awards 2018.

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Much of the equipment has been provided to them at knocked down prices thanks to the town’s British Heart Foundation charity store.

Peter Butler, a support assistant at Sanctuary, said: “We want our residents to lead a more healthier lifestyle and more importantly they want to also.

“Some of our residents struggle with day to day tasks of even getting out of bed on a morning.

Winner of the Sporting Excellence award, Savannah Marshall, at the Hartlepool Mail Best of Hartlepool Awards 2018.

“They do not have the money to pay for a monthly gym membership, so something like this in their own home will be so beneficial to them.

“It will also help the staff to get the residents motivated and active within the gym.”

The project, which has seen a storage room transformed into the new facility, has taken around six months and is nearing completion.

Art students from Hartlepool College of Further Education are also getting involved and have offered to provide artwork to brighten up the new room.

“They cannot wait to start, especially after hearing the residents’ thoughts on types of art work they would like,” added Peter.

So far, the gym has equipment including a stepper, treadmill and wobble board.

A boxing bag is on the way and staff also hope to find a fitness bike.

Sanctuary are also supported by town boxer Savannah Marshall who won the WBA super-middleweight Inter-continental title in October.

Savannah is a member of Sanctuary’s bank staff team who provide cover for full-time staff.

Peter added: “Between ourselves and her this could really help towards a healthier lifestyle for our residents as we want to promote motivation, pride in themselves, healthy living, fitness and life change.

“It will make a huge difference. They can’t wait for it to open.”