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Olympic rower Sara Parfett opens new staff gym at Medway Maritime Hospital

Olympic rower Sara Parfett was guest of honour for the official opening of a new onsite gym which has been created exclusively for staff at Medway Maritime Hospital.

October 29th, 2021 -  Believed to be the first staff gym opened by an NHS Trust in Kent and Medway, the Medway Fitness Hub forms part of Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s Your Wellbeing programme to help support the mental health and wellbeing of its staff.

Open 24/7, the climate-controlled, self-managed fitness facility features the new Life Fitness Heat Row machines, Integrity line Cardio stations equipped with SE3HD consoles, a free weights area, Axiom  resistance machines, as well as inclusive changing areas, showering facilities and lockers.

The project, which cost £290,000, was made possible thanks to funding from Medway NHS Foundation Trust, The Medway Hospital Charity and NHS Charities Together, plus additional contributions from Unison, and the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group.

To mark the opening, Sara cut a ribbon across the gym’s entrance. Other guests included the Trust’s Chair Jo Palmer, Chief Executive Dr George Findlay, and Richard Scarth, Director of Impact and Membership at NHS Charities Together. 

Sara, who competed in this year’s Tokyo Olympics in the Team GB rowing squad after beeing selected in the women’s eight. She said: 

“Being an athlete I know the importance of exercise, not only because of the impact it can have on your body physically but also the impact it can have on your mental health. Coronavirus has shown that our physical and mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever – and nowhere more so than in the NHS.

“I think the gym is a fantastic idea to support the wellbeing of the staff who work tirelessly to provide the best of care to patients and I hope they enjoy using it.”

Chief Executive, Dr George Findlay, said: “It’s no secret that NHS staff have faced enormous challenges since the start of the pandemic. Supporting our staff to ensure they are physically and mentally well is one of the Trust’s top priorities and the reason why the staff gym was created to help their wellbeing.

“We are grateful to everyone who supported the project and would like to say a huge thank you to The Medway Hospital Charity, NHS Charities Together and our other donors, builders Drakemoor, Quantity Surveyors, Hayward Consultants, gym equipment supplier Life Fitness, and Promax Systems for the Halo booking/fitness app. Without them this facility would not have been made possible.

Life Fitness' Reece Ellis, the account manager working with Medway Maritme Hospital for this install, said: "I feel honoured that Medway Maritime Hospital chose Life Fitness as their partner to bring this project to fruition. It has been a real joy to work on this from initial concepts and design, to surveying the staff, to delivery and install."

"I look forward to furthering the partnership as time goes on with the ongoing support and continued use of our HALO app for all of their training and On-Demand needs."

Sara Parfett rowing - NHS medway