Joy and David McLaughlin joined the Health & Wellbeing Centre at YMCA Hawker in Kingston this year after trying out the facilities with the January and summer promotions. They are both retired, having worked in the financial sector. Joy regularly attends three Pilates classes a week along with the occasional session in the gym too.
“The staff here are so friendly and helpful, and it’s so welcoming. You don’t feel at all intimidated,” says Joy. “I think the range of classes is great and the standard of the instructors is wonderful. It’s incredibly good value for what you get. It is such a friendly place and so inclusive.”
David joined as he was looking to improve his general fitness, lose a bit of weight and generally to feel better in himself. “The Health & Wellbeing promotion is a very good offer and a good taster option for people who aren’t sure.”
Impressed by the range of equipment in the gym and the friendliness of the staff, David is happy he joined. “It can be quite busy here some mornings, but even then you rarely have to wait in the gym for what you want to do,” says David. “There’s a wonderful community feel, with people of all abilities included. You wouldn’t find that at many other places around here.”
Joy and David come along to YMCA Hawker with their eldest daughter Clare, who has had considerable life-threatening health issues since childhood: she enjoys Back Care Pilates and Tai Chi, and she also visits the gym.
The Health & Wellbeing membership fees are ploughed back into the work of YMCA St Paul’s Group to house vulnerable young homeless people, so it’s a positive charitable spend and not about reaping profits. “It would be good to have some posters up to explain how the money is spent here; to explain where the money is going,” suggests David.