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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

press release: Innerva

Charity launches community wellbeing space to address health disparities in Birmingham

21 May 2024
the new power assisted exercise circuit from Innerva will offer culturally-sensitive sessions / Innerva
A charity dedicated to narrowing the gender and ethnic diversity gap in physical activity has launched a community wellbeing space aimed at extending the lives of people with some of the UK’s poorest health outcomes.

Free to use, the new power assisted exercise circuit from Innerva will offer culturally-sensitive sessions in inner city Birmingham, helping the least active to manage their long term health conditions.

“When the men and women in our community get to their sixties, we start to worry because they have much lower life expectancy than their middle class counterparts living just to two to three streets away. South Asians have the highest level of diabetes in the city - diabetes is the most common health issue among Asian, Black and minority ethnic groups in the UK - and also suffer higher than average rates of cardiovascular disease because of diet, poverty and because they are least likely to access standard health and fitness facilities,” says Naseem Akhtar, founder of the charity, Sähëlï Hub.

Formed in 1999, the charity supports 3,000 people a year by delivering free, culturally-appropriate physical activity programmes and social clubs in parks, GP surgeries and at two community centres. Since 2001, Sähëlï Hub has engaged with more than 8,000 participants - 92% women, 94% from Global Majority Backgrounds and 89% from the poorest areas of Birmingham.

“We bridge the gap between the health and wellness services available and the services members of our community actually want,” she says.

In line with this mission, the charity has introduced a nine-piece power-assisted exercise circuit at the Alum Rock Community Centre. Owned by Clarion Housing Group, the centre sits at the heart of Alum Rock in Birmingham, a city where Clarion owns and manages thousands of homes. The centre acts as a meeting place for local residents as well as a space for events and activities. Sähëlï Hub moved into the site in early 2023, providing the organisation with a home at the heart of the community.

“The men and women we work with wouldn’t dream of using mainstream gyms, which are often not culturally appropriate for our community. Our new wellness space will allow people to take control of their health at a level they are comfortable with,” says Akhtar.

Offering separate sessions for men and women, the new space will support the charity’s successful Culturally Appropriate Prevention of Diabetes (CAPD) programme, which helps local residents to improve their health and lifestyle to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The social benefits of the Innerva circuit are particularly important for the charity.

“The word Sähëlï means ‘female friend’ in many South Asian languages and the new space is very much about providing a place to build friendships too,” says Akhtar.

“We’re delighted to be working alongside a trusted partner like Innerva to positively impact the health and longevity of our community. There’s still a misconception that Asian men and women don’t enjoy exercise, but by taking a different approach we’ve encouraged people to run half marathons, take up cycling, go quad biking and even wild swimming. This new wellness space expands our accessible and culturally appropriate exercise provision so we can encourage more people to be active and help prolong the lives of individuals from some of Birmingham’s most vulnerable communities.”

Innerva continues to develop its solutions to make exercise more accessible for older adults and those with long term health conditions.

Liz Wright, sales manager at Innerva, said: “We prioritise building partnerships with individuals and organisations committed to making a meaningful impact. After hearing Naseem speak at an event, I was so impressed by her work and authenticity that I had to reach out - her work resonates so strongly with what we are trying to achieve at Innerva. I’m so pleased our initial conversation has evolved into this partnership and I’m excited to see it flourish.”

Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures (the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group), said: “Getting active is vital for both physical and mental wellbeing and so we’re delighted to have worked with Sähëlï Hub and Innerva to bring this new wellness space to life. It will make such a difference for local people who may not be comfortable using a mainstream gym, providing a space to exercise as well as meet new people which is a big part of the work of Sähëlï Hub.”

For more information, please contact [email protected]

More press releases and updates from Innerva:
The Wellness Hub is tackling health inequalities among those who don’t typically engage with conventional fitness facilities, including older adults, those on low incomes and people with long term health conditions.
Innerva is helping one lucky pensioner to keep active after he started exercising for the first time at the age of 65.
Sandwell Leisure Trust has created an exercise haven tailored for those who struggle to access traditional gym settings due to their age, health or mobility.
Hildegarde Naughton T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health and Wellbeing, has officially opened Ireland’s first power-assisted exercise studio.
The first studio in Benelux to adopt Innerva’s power-assisted exercise solution has launched in the Netherlands.
Innerva: news from HCMmag.com and FitTechGlobal.com
HCM editor, Liz Terry, has called on the sector to step up to assist the NHS with stroke rehabilitation to avoid millions being left with life-changing disabilities.
Power-assisted exercise specialist Innerva has teamed up with academics and technology providers to launch Planet Wellbeing, a virtual reality solution designed to alleviate loneliness and mental health issues in older adults.
Innerva has launched an off-the-shelf solution to help operators deliver successful power- assisted exercise studios and unlock the potential of the UK’s ageing population.
Innerva’s new access range, comprising the power-assisted Rotary Torso and Torso Dip, addresses the issues caused by prolonged wheelchair use. Innerva’s head of product development, Matt Holland, developed the range for gyms and leisure centres. It is a creation that recently won him the Future Leaders Award from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Innerva: featured in HCM and Fit Tech magazines
Everyone's talking about: Stroke rehab
With NICE recommending stroke victims undergo three hours of rehab a day, there’s an opportunity for the sector to step in as a key provider, finds Vicky Kiernander
Innerva
Tel: 01484 667474
Address: 3 Queen's Square Business Park, Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, HD9 6QZ, United Kingdom
Jon Hymus, managing director
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Innerva press release: Charity launches community wellbeing space to address health disparities in Birmingham
A charity dedicated to narrowing the gender and ethnic diversity gap in physical activity has launched a community wellbeing space aimed at extending the lives of people with some of the UK’s poorest health outcomes.
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press release: Innerva

Charity launches community wellbeing space to address health disparities in Birmingham

21 May 2024
the new power assisted exercise circuit from Innerva will offer culturally-sensitive sessions / Innerva
A charity dedicated to narrowing the gender and ethnic diversity gap in physical activity has launched a community wellbeing space aimed at extending the lives of people with some of the UK’s poorest health outcomes.

Free to use, the new power assisted exercise circuit from Innerva will offer culturally-sensitive sessions in inner city Birmingham, helping the least active to manage their long term health conditions.

“When the men and women in our community get to their sixties, we start to worry because they have much lower life expectancy than their middle class counterparts living just to two to three streets away. South Asians have the highest level of diabetes in the city - diabetes is the most common health issue among Asian, Black and minority ethnic groups in the UK - and also suffer higher than average rates of cardiovascular disease because of diet, poverty and because they are least likely to access standard health and fitness facilities,” says Naseem Akhtar, founder of the charity, Sähëlï Hub.

Formed in 1999, the charity supports 3,000 people a year by delivering free, culturally-appropriate physical activity programmes and social clubs in parks, GP surgeries and at two community centres. Since 2001, Sähëlï Hub has engaged with more than 8,000 participants - 92% women, 94% from Global Majority Backgrounds and 89% from the poorest areas of Birmingham.

“We bridge the gap between the health and wellness services available and the services members of our community actually want,” she says.

In line with this mission, the charity has introduced a nine-piece power-assisted exercise circuit at the Alum Rock Community Centre. Owned by Clarion Housing Group, the centre sits at the heart of Alum Rock in Birmingham, a city where Clarion owns and manages thousands of homes. The centre acts as a meeting place for local residents as well as a space for events and activities. Sähëlï Hub moved into the site in early 2023, providing the organisation with a home at the heart of the community.

“The men and women we work with wouldn’t dream of using mainstream gyms, which are often not culturally appropriate for our community. Our new wellness space will allow people to take control of their health at a level they are comfortable with,” says Akhtar.

Offering separate sessions for men and women, the new space will support the charity’s successful Culturally Appropriate Prevention of Diabetes (CAPD) programme, which helps local residents to improve their health and lifestyle to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The social benefits of the Innerva circuit are particularly important for the charity.

“The word Sähëlï means ‘female friend’ in many South Asian languages and the new space is very much about providing a place to build friendships too,” says Akhtar.

“We’re delighted to be working alongside a trusted partner like Innerva to positively impact the health and longevity of our community. There’s still a misconception that Asian men and women don’t enjoy exercise, but by taking a different approach we’ve encouraged people to run half marathons, take up cycling, go quad biking and even wild swimming. This new wellness space expands our accessible and culturally appropriate exercise provision so we can encourage more people to be active and help prolong the lives of individuals from some of Birmingham’s most vulnerable communities.”

Innerva continues to develop its solutions to make exercise more accessible for older adults and those with long term health conditions.

Liz Wright, sales manager at Innerva, said: “We prioritise building partnerships with individuals and organisations committed to making a meaningful impact. After hearing Naseem speak at an event, I was so impressed by her work and authenticity that I had to reach out - her work resonates so strongly with what we are trying to achieve at Innerva. I’m so pleased our initial conversation has evolved into this partnership and I’m excited to see it flourish.”

Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures (the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group), said: “Getting active is vital for both physical and mental wellbeing and so we’re delighted to have worked with Sähëlï Hub and Innerva to bring this new wellness space to life. It will make such a difference for local people who may not be comfortable using a mainstream gym, providing a space to exercise as well as meet new people which is a big part of the work of Sähëlï Hub.”

For more information, please contact [email protected]

More press releases and updates from Innerva:
The Wellness Hub is tackling health inequalities among those who don’t typically engage with conventional fitness facilities, including older adults, those on low incomes and people with long term health conditions.
Innerva is helping one lucky pensioner to keep active after he started exercising for the first time at the age of 65.
Sandwell Leisure Trust has created an exercise haven tailored for those who struggle to access traditional gym settings due to their age, health or mobility.
Hildegarde Naughton T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health and Wellbeing, has officially opened Ireland’s first power-assisted exercise studio.
The first studio in Benelux to adopt Innerva’s power-assisted exercise solution has launched in the Netherlands.
Innerva: news from HCMmag.com and FitTechGlobal.com
HCM editor, Liz Terry, has called on the sector to step up to assist the NHS with stroke rehabilitation to avoid millions being left with life-changing disabilities.
Power-assisted exercise specialist Innerva has teamed up with academics and technology providers to launch Planet Wellbeing, a virtual reality solution designed to alleviate loneliness and mental health issues in older adults.
Innerva has launched an off-the-shelf solution to help operators deliver successful power- assisted exercise studios and unlock the potential of the UK’s ageing population.
Innerva’s new access range, comprising the power-assisted Rotary Torso and Torso Dip, addresses the issues caused by prolonged wheelchair use. Innerva’s head of product development, Matt Holland, developed the range for gyms and leisure centres. It is a creation that recently won him the Future Leaders Award from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Innerva: featured in HCM and Fit Tech magazines
Everyone's talking about: Stroke rehab
With NICE recommending stroke victims undergo three hours of rehab a day, there’s an opportunity for the sector to step in as a key provider, finds Vicky Kiernander
Innerva
Tel: 01484 667474
Address: 3 Queen's Square Business Park, Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, HD9 6QZ, United Kingdom
Jon Hymus, managing director
Innerva video gallery:
Key personnel
Jon Hymus, managing director
Key customers
Our key customers span leisure (leisure trusts, council, independent and private operators), rehabilitation and therapy centres and care.
Plans for the next 12 months
We will further develop our solution to support active and healthy ageing, working with our health, academic and operator partners to meet the needs of those with long-term health conditions and bridge the gap between fitness and health.

The next year includes the launch of our new digital solution and the results of a pioneering pilot to improve outcomes for stroke victims at University Hospital in Wishaw.

Our continued international expansion will give the world’s ageing population an accessible exercise solution to improve physical and mental health.
Testimonial
“After 10 years of running its flagship Innerva suite in the UK, Lincs Inspire invested in an additional circuit of power assisted exercise machines to create a Wellness Hub within Grimsby Health & Wellbeing Centre, which now has 22 Innerva machines across three rooms, with over 600 members visiting regularly to improve their health, activity levels and wellbeing.”

– Ben Frary, sports and health improvement manager, Lincs. Inspire
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