Coronavirus has reminded us of the importance of community, with local charities and community groups playing a key role in supporting people affected by the crisis. A grant of £4800 has been awarded from the National Emergencies Trust (NET) to Valley Leisure Ltd.’s I Can Therapy Centre to help those in need in and around the Andover.
The funding has been made available from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and is being administered by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF).
Owned, operated, and managed by independent charity Valley Leisure Ltd, ‘I Can’ aims to fulfil the charity’s core mission of enabling people to ‘move more and feel better’.
In recent weeks, the charity has been forced to redesign the I Can Therapy Centre service due to access restrictions to the Centre imposed in response to COVID-19.
This grant enables Valley Leisure Ltd to hire additional community space in Andover to deliver bespoke, reduced capacity, functional group exercise classes to their customers in keeping with Government guidance.
Many customers who usually access I Can have been self-isolating and shielding throughout lockdown and have reported a reduction in their mobility, strength, and fitness due in part to the closure of I Can in March.
Getting the ‘I Can’ service re-established and encouraging customers to return to exercise will contribute significantly to supporting people to self-manage their health conditions, overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness, and improve their functional health and wellbeing.
Liz Murray, Partnerships Development Manager for Valley Leisure Ltd said “ Thank you very much to DCMS, NET and HIWCF for providing this funding, which is essential to ensure that we are able to re-establish our I Can Therapy Centre service and make a real difference to people’s lives”.
Jonathan Cheshire OBE, HIWCF Chairman commented “We are delighted to be able to support Valley Leisure Ltd.’s I Can Therapy Centre in their work to help those in need in the local community. Local charities, community groups and voluntary organisations are providing a lifeline to those less fortunate, and it is heartening to see that these organisations have reacted so quickly and have been so resourceful in the face of the pandemic. The vital services that these organisations provide are more crucial now than ever before but are under threat more than at any other time. HIWCF is continuing to raise funding for charities across our region, for which donations can be made to the ‘We’re All Together’ Fund: virginmoneygiving.com/fund/AllTogether.