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Our staff benefit from free sports membership

NHS staff have been swapping the wards for weights thanks to a free gym and sports membership scheme run in partnership with a group of leisure centres across Suffolk.

Over 2000 staff at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust have signed up to the offer, which includes swimming, access to the gym, racquet sports, and exercises classes at Abbeycroft Leisure locations across Suffolk.

The offer, funded by the Trust, began in April and enables NHS staff to access dozens of in-person and online activities benefitting both their physical and mental wellbeing.

Jeremy Over, the Trust’s executive director of workforce and communications said: “It’s brilliant and inspiring that so many of our staff have taken up this offer. It goes without saying that this has been and continues to be one of the most challenging times in the history of the NHS.

“It is more important than ever for all staff to be able to take time out and look after themselves, both physically and mentally, and the facilities that Abbeycroft offer are one of the ways they can do this.”

Matt Hickey, development manager of health fitness and physical activity at Abbeycroft said: “We’ve been really pleased to be able to strengthen our partnership with West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and make a difference to the health and wellbeing of so many of their staff.”

“Everyone in the country has shown support and gratitude to our NHS workers, so it was a pleasure to be able to facilitate a service that supports them. We’ve kept the process easy for staff to be able to take advantage of the offer and I think this had added to its massive success.”

One staff member who has benefited from the offer is staff nurse Rebecca Bone who said: “I absolutely love attending the gym and attempt to go at least four times a week. I really enjoy the stair master and the cross-trainer. This has all been amazing for my mental and physical health.”

Karen Brown, an administrator at the Trust said: “I love swimming so it is feels great to get back into the pool. It’s great that we can book sessions via an app, so you know how busy it is going to be and the access to exercise classes online means you can fit it around your day.”

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