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Hedgehog Concept Ltd
Hedgehog Concept Ltd
Hedgehog Concept Ltd
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Aaron Brooks-ThornettFreely Given PT: founder

A donation-based payment system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This also challenges me to keep service levels high

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 3
Brooks-Thornett’s PT sessions take advantage of Cornwall’s natural beauty
Brooks-Thornett’s PT sessions take advantage of Cornwall’s natural beauty

What’s your USP as a PT?
Nature is a great healer and offers the chance to be playful, so I conduct my sessions outdoors as much as possible.

As I’m based in Cornwall, I like to meet clients at the beach, or in the woods, and we do a mixture of cardio and bodyweight exercises using minimal equipment.

I encourage them to appreciate what they have on their doorstep, as many of them don’t make the most of the natural environment that’s all around them.

As our physical, mental and emotional selves are all connected – for example if you put on weight it’s not just your body which is affected – I like to take a holistic approach. I start and end each session with meditation, encouraging people to relax, centre themselves, take in their surroundings and look at the sky.

Exercise has always been a release for me. I have personal experience of using exercise to create a better and healthier life and to feel better about myself, so my aim with Freely Given is to reach out to people who need it most, many of whom are disadvantaged.

How have you gone about this?
I’ve reached out to GP surgeries offering to work with people as part of the social prescribing scheme. Because many of the people who could benefit the most from personal training can’t afford the service, I work on a donation-based system, so people pay what they can afford via an honesty box or an internet link.

A donation system sounds laudable, how does it work out?
I find it works really well. I was inspired by a donation-based meditation retreat I attended, and by the community waste food cafés using the same model.

I encourage people to pay what they can afford – so if money isn’t a problem to give generously in order to let me work more cheaply with those who wouldn’t usually be able to afford PT.

I was very keen to be able to reach out to people who need personal training and not to exclude those who could most benefit from the service.

A donation based system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This challenges me to keep service levels high. I don’t live a lavish lifestyle – that’s not what I aspire to.

My business costs are low and I go to cool and exciting places – both outdoors and people’s homes. Working this way feels exciting and creative and allows me to show my values and attitudes.

Plus, I believe the current economic system is outdated: continuous growth in a finite climate is a farce. I’d rather grow the business for the benefit of people, not money. I like trusting people’s natural trait to want to give and be generous.

You have to have faith and give people the opportunity to show their nice side.

What has been your experience of finding clients?
In Cornwall, it’s easy to find people from marginalised backgrounds – through GP surgeries, food banks, clothing banks. It’s much harder to find affluent people, so far they have come through networking and word of mouth.

Is money the main barrier for low income clients?
Money is a big issue, but sometimes people just don’t know how to get started – where to go or what to do – and need support with their confidence.

Many of my clients are intimidated by gyms and think they’ll be unfriendly environments full of fit, good looking people. I think operators could help to overcome this by offering a buddy system: inviting, or incentivising experienced members to accompany newbies on their first few visits.

What are your ambitions?
My dream is to be able to continue my work and have a positive impact on as many people as possible. I’m also looking for external sources of funding to help me do this and have applied to the National Lottery and also to the Tudor Trust. I hope I can find a source of support which will enable me to extend my work to other vulnerable groups.

If you would like to get each issue of HCM magazine sent direct to you for FREE, plus the weekly HCM ezine, sign up now!
Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/60535_648647.jpg
This personal trainer works on a ‘pay what you can’ basis, allowing him to reach those most in need...
Aaron Brooks-Thornett, Freely Given PT: founder,Aaron Brooks-Thornett, Freely Given, personal trainer
People
I want us to make sure we’re still the go-to sector with the greatest power to improve health and wellbeing in society. We absolutely must not abdicate that opportunity
People
HCM people

Jo Smallwood

general manager, Oldham Leisure Centre
We saw the opportunity to initiate new partnerships with the Oldham Foodbank to help local residents during the COVID-19 crisis. We can’t serve our community in the way we would usually do, so we’ve moved resources to help where people need us most
People
HCM people

Aaron Smith

Founder, KX Pilates
‘KX’ stands for ‘the Kaizen Experience’, which means ‘change for the better’ in Japanese. It’s a philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement. We’re always seeking to improve, not only as a company but as individuals
Features
Staff welfare
Many people will use the gym to release tension and cabin fever, but some may target a tough workout to punish themselves – trained staff should be alert to this and have the confidence to check in with them
Features
Strength
It’s considered a fundamental part of our fitness routines by medical professionals, but many exercisers, particularly women, are still put off by strength training. We asked leading suppliers what they’re doing to champion strength
Features
feature
As the health and fitness industry gears up for reopening, Caroline Constantine, MD of Right Directions, shares critical guidance about safe operating procedures
Features
Talking Point
The fitness industry has shown incredible flexibility during lockdown, pivoting to digital to keep people active. But as lockdowns end, we ask what impact the pandemic will have on facility provision
Features
Opinion
The over-70s were treated as one homogenous group during the lockdown and advised to shield. Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging says this is leading to an increase in ageism that the industry must fight to overcome
Features
Partner briefing
BMF, the outdoor fitness franchise company co-owned by Bear Grylls, is launching a £1m initiative designed to offer financial support to PTs and exercise professionals in getting back to work after the lockdown
Features
Training
Balance training is set to become a major fitness trend, with exercisers increasingly appreciating the benefits of having a strong core and good balance, particularly as they age. Lauren Health-Jones rounds up the latest product releases
Features
Latest News
Glasgow Life, which runs leisure and culture facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council, has ...
Latest News
Fitness equipment firm Nautilus Inc is looking for a buyer for its commercial equipment brand ...
Latest News
Technogym has announced the launch of live streaming and on-demand classes. The new content will ...
Latest News
A number of gym operators are concerned that local lockdowns could come into effect in ...
Latest News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that gyms may be able to reopen in a ...
Latest News
UK consumer confidence has improved significantly since the beginning of the lockdown, with a fifth ...
Latest News
The PGA Tour has recently bought 1,000 Whoop bands for its golfers, after PGA Tour ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: myFitApp launches branded live-streaming as part of its COVID-19 support package
Innovatise, the company behind myFitApp, has announced the immediate availability of its customer- branded live-streaming solution.
Video Gallery
Technogym mywellness app
Technogym
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Premier Software Solutions Ltd
Premier Software was founded in 1994 and has proven experience developing business management solutions specifically ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group is the leading provider of membership management services to leisure operators, processing over ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Exercise equipment
Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

HCM People: Aaron Brooks-ThornettFreely Given PT: founder

A donation-based payment system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This also challenges me to keep service levels high

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 3
Brooks-Thornett’s PT sessions take advantage of Cornwall’s natural beauty
Brooks-Thornett’s PT sessions take advantage of Cornwall’s natural beauty

What’s your USP as a PT?
Nature is a great healer and offers the chance to be playful, so I conduct my sessions outdoors as much as possible.

As I’m based in Cornwall, I like to meet clients at the beach, or in the woods, and we do a mixture of cardio and bodyweight exercises using minimal equipment.

I encourage them to appreciate what they have on their doorstep, as many of them don’t make the most of the natural environment that’s all around them.

As our physical, mental and emotional selves are all connected – for example if you put on weight it’s not just your body which is affected – I like to take a holistic approach. I start and end each session with meditation, encouraging people to relax, centre themselves, take in their surroundings and look at the sky.

Exercise has always been a release for me. I have personal experience of using exercise to create a better and healthier life and to feel better about myself, so my aim with Freely Given is to reach out to people who need it most, many of whom are disadvantaged.

How have you gone about this?
I’ve reached out to GP surgeries offering to work with people as part of the social prescribing scheme. Because many of the people who could benefit the most from personal training can’t afford the service, I work on a donation-based system, so people pay what they can afford via an honesty box or an internet link.

A donation system sounds laudable, how does it work out?
I find it works really well. I was inspired by a donation-based meditation retreat I attended, and by the community waste food cafés using the same model.

I encourage people to pay what they can afford – so if money isn’t a problem to give generously in order to let me work more cheaply with those who wouldn’t usually be able to afford PT.

I was very keen to be able to reach out to people who need personal training and not to exclude those who could most benefit from the service.

A donation based system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This challenges me to keep service levels high. I don’t live a lavish lifestyle – that’s not what I aspire to.

My business costs are low and I go to cool and exciting places – both outdoors and people’s homes. Working this way feels exciting and creative and allows me to show my values and attitudes.

Plus, I believe the current economic system is outdated: continuous growth in a finite climate is a farce. I’d rather grow the business for the benefit of people, not money. I like trusting people’s natural trait to want to give and be generous.

You have to have faith and give people the opportunity to show their nice side.

What has been your experience of finding clients?
In Cornwall, it’s easy to find people from marginalised backgrounds – through GP surgeries, food banks, clothing banks. It’s much harder to find affluent people, so far they have come through networking and word of mouth.

Is money the main barrier for low income clients?
Money is a big issue, but sometimes people just don’t know how to get started – where to go or what to do – and need support with their confidence.

Many of my clients are intimidated by gyms and think they’ll be unfriendly environments full of fit, good looking people. I think operators could help to overcome this by offering a buddy system: inviting, or incentivising experienced members to accompany newbies on their first few visits.

What are your ambitions?
My dream is to be able to continue my work and have a positive impact on as many people as possible. I’m also looking for external sources of funding to help me do this and have applied to the National Lottery and also to the Tudor Trust. I hope I can find a source of support which will enable me to extend my work to other vulnerable groups.

If you would like to get each issue of HCM magazine sent direct to you for FREE, plus the weekly HCM ezine, sign up now!
Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/60535_648647.jpg
This personal trainer works on a ‘pay what you can’ basis, allowing him to reach those most in need...
Aaron Brooks-Thornett, Freely Given PT: founder,Aaron Brooks-Thornett, Freely Given, personal trainer
Latest News
Glasgow Life, which runs leisure and culture facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council, has ...
Latest News
Fitness equipment firm Nautilus Inc is looking for a buyer for its commercial equipment brand ...
Latest News
Technogym has announced the launch of live streaming and on-demand classes. The new content will ...
Latest News
A number of gym operators are concerned that local lockdowns could come into effect in ...
Latest News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that gyms may be able to reopen in a ...
Latest News
UK consumer confidence has improved significantly since the beginning of the lockdown, with a fifth ...
Latest News
The PGA Tour has recently bought 1,000 Whoop bands for its golfers, after PGA Tour ...
Latest News
ukactive has announced that Active Uprising and the National Summit are going digital as part ...
Latest News
Industry body ukactive has today (1 July) hosted a delegation of government and public health ...
Latest News
Health and fitness company Ingesport – which operates the GO fit chain of gyms in ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: myFitApp launches branded live-streaming as part of its COVID-19 support package
Innovatise, the company behind myFitApp, has announced the immediate availability of its customer- branded live-streaming solution.
Video Gallery
Technogym mywellness app
Technogym
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Premier Software Solutions Ltd
Premier Software was founded in 1994 and has proven experience developing business management solutions specifically ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group is the leading provider of membership management services to leisure operators, processing over ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Exercise equipment
Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Hedgehog Concept Ltd
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