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Welcome Gym is a gym network designed around the lives of its user and made to be as accessible as possible for everyone. That means affordable prices, great workouts, fantastic facilities with no overcrowding, no hassle, and no judgements. A place where members are always made to feel 100% welcome.

Why was Welcome Gym created? 

We noticed that most gyms and sports centres were looking at exercise in the wrong way. Rather than looking at the lives of the people they wanted to attract, they would just start with a traditional offering and then go after the customers that were willing to pay a certain amount. This meant that they were only catering to the needs of a small proportion of the population, which made getting active incredibly difficult for the majority, in particular and those with families or on lower incomes.  

At Welcome Gyms we start by looking at the lives of the people in our communities, building an offering around them and maintaining high standards to that people felt comfortable.  

Doing 'suitable' well

How important is it that exercise and activity is made as suitable as possible by organisations like yours? 

Suitability is fundamental to everything that we do. I think a lot of people in the industry forget how intimidating or confusing starting any fitness journey can be. On top of that you’ve got the financial ask that people are increasingly struggling to justify, so it’s no surprise that some people don’t join gyms or stick with them for very long.

By thinking about it from this perspective and asking ourselves “what would I want from a gym given everything else going on in my life?” we have found that we are attracting all sort of women who wouldn’t normally attend.

For example, we offer flexible rolling monthly contracts, and we help people with things like advising about quieter times to attend or do classes online so that there are fewer barriers to being part of our network. 

We also take safety incredibly seriously. We are increasingly aware of stories in the news particularly around the problems that women are facing.

So, making sure that everyone feels safe is non-negotiable. Welcome Gym provides Ladies Only facilities in its gyms, dedicated spaces where women can feel comfortable, be themselves, lose their inhibitions and not feel intimidated.

Welcome Gym provides Ladies Only facilities in its gyms, dedicated spaces where women can feel comfortable, be themselves, lose their inhibitions and not feel intimidated.

They are then able to concentrate on getting fit and staying healthy in a calm and friendly environment with like-minded people and with an enhanced level of privacy. It’s important to note that we think about the whole experience, so these spaces are only accessible via the ladies' changing rooms and staffed by women. 

We also make sure that our offering online is as good as what we do at our leisure centres, so that no matter where people are, or what has happened on any particular day, they are able to fit activity into their lives. There we can also provide tips and information around nutrition, mental health, and everything in between that can help members make better informed decisions about their own fitness. That is something we are really proud of doing and seeing people benefit as a result.  

What would you say to other people thinking of starting their own group or changing something in their local areas? 

Rule number one is always to remember that you are dealing with real people with chaotic lives. Outside of any gym, sports facility, or club they are people trying to make ends meet, have busy work schedules, might have children they need to care for and ferry around which all takes a lot of energy and money.

If you can seamlessly fit into their lives, then you’re fifty percent of the way there! From there it’s also about meeting them with a smile, making them feel comfortable and listening to their worries and what they enjoy. It helps to make sure that you are giving them what they want and it is hugely rewarding.  

Find out more about Welcome Gym