Gym opens at Hartlepool homeless service

19 March 2019

A supported housing scheme in Hartlepool has transformed a former storage room into a free on-site gym and games room for the young people it supports.

Curtis Drake and Amy Summers in the new gym area at Victoria Road in Hartlepool

The new facilities, at Sanctuary Supported Living’s Victoria Road, have been designed to motivate residents who want to lead a healthier lifestyle and develop the life skills and confidence they need to live independently. 

Thirteen residents aged between 16 and 25, who have faced homelessness or were at risk of being homeless, now have access to equipment including a step machine, treadmill, vibration board, exercise bike and punch bag.

Most items were purchased at discounted prices from the British Heart Foundation charity shop and the bike was donated by local firm, Censis Accountants. Many other charitable donations have been received from other local businesses.

Murals of famous musicians have been painted on the walls by talented art students Jasmine Yahkup and Rachel Wilkinson from the Northern School of Art.

The pop art portraits were chosen by residents and include significant lyrics to inspire positivity. One wall features a large painting of a tiger, which symbolises the ‘eye of the tiger’ from the film Rocky.

Resident Curtis Duke said: “We discussed at one of the resident house meetings that we would like a gym and the staff have taken the thought into consideration and made it happen.

“We also had a consultation with the art students around the theme we wanted to go with.

“The gym will be very popular because it gives us more to do instead of sitting in our rooms watching TV. It gives people more structure to their daily lives.” 

Peter Butler, support assistant and project lead at Victoria Road, added: “Residents want to lead a healthy lifestyle but gym memberships can be expensive and unrealistic. A gym within their home will make a huge difference to both physical and mental health.

“We would like to thank everyone who has contributed, whether that’s with their time, talent or donations.

“I am proud to be part of such a dedicated team who have worked together to make this dream a reality for our young people.”  

Find out more about how Sanctuary Supported Living supports young people facing homelessness.

Residents want to lead a healthy lifestyle but gym memberships can be expensive and unrealistic. A gym within their home will make a huge difference to both physical and mental health

Support assistant and project lead, Peter Butler

Read more about this story in the Hartlepool Mail.

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Sanctuary Supported Living is a trading name used within Sanctuary Group. © 2019 Sanctuary Group. All Rights Reserved. Images used on our website and literature may be representative and are for illustration purposes only.

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