Four incredible organisations who won sports equipment in a community competition run by Life Fitness UK are using it to change lives in the local area.
A total of three table tennis tables and one foosball table were given away as prizes by the fitness equipment manufacturer based in Queen Adelaide, and already they are being used in positive ways to help people of all ages in and around Ely.
Fen House, Ely
The first table tennis table was won by Fen House, located off Lynn road in Ely. Fen House is a specialist brain injury unit offering community-based rehabilitation for people with an acquired brain injury.
Fen House do admirable work helping their service users to function as independently as possible, develop their lives as they choose and participate in as many of their previous roles and activities as possible, re-establishing their confidence.
Michelle Bailey, Physiotherapy Assistant at Fen House, said: “After a stroke or brain injury, people can lose a lot of their upper limb function so, if we can help them to redevelop this in a more fun way, that’s great.
“Following an injury, people can also become quite isolated, so we do a lot of work around bringing people together and building community which equipment like the table tennis table helps us to do.”
The PORT Youth Group, Littleport
The PORT Youth Group in Littleport were the recipients of the second table tennis table. Run by a team of dedicated volunteers, and with an average of 60-70 children attending the Group each week, it plays a highly important role in the village. The PORT does remarkable work supporting families, including those who are in hostels or homeless, and also extends a helping hand to the wider community through litter picks and visits to Littleport Grange Care Home.
Co-founder, Joanne Coe, said: “Our aim is not only to provide the best experience possible for the children attending The PORT, but to also widen their opportunities, whether that’s through activities, days out, community work or equipment for them to use. The table tennis table will be great to have outside in the summer for the children to have fun with and to stay healthy.”
The Beeton Family and Phil’s Ride
The third table tennis table was won by Emma Beeton, who will raffle it off at this year’s Phil’s Ride – an annual charity event for cyclists and motorcyclists in memory of her late brother-in-law, Phil Beeton, who sadly lost his life in a road traffic accident in October 2015. All the money raised from this event, which takes place on Sunday 26th August starting at 11am from The Old White Bell public house in Southery, will be donated to East Anglian Air Ambulance who attended the scene and saved the life of Emma’s son, Jack, who was also involved.
Emma said: “Without the Air Ambulance, our son wouldn’t be here, so it’s a huge thing for us to support them and raise as much money as we can for anyone else in that position.
“We hope everyone has a great time at Phil’s Ride and that we can move a little closer to our target for this year. So far, we’ve raised nearly £5000, but we’d love to reach our goal of £12000.”
Highfield Littleport Academy
The final winners were Highfield Littleport Academy who received a foosball table which will be used to help promote social and emotional skills within their school’s community, while giving pupils hours of enjoyment.
“At the Academy, we work hard to facilitate interaction and relationship building,” said Head of School, Yvonne Skillern. “Having the equipment to help our children build these skills, such as turn taking and working together, is really important for us.”
Supporting Our Local Heroes
Not only has this competition highlighted some of the amazing organisations and local heroes around us, it has also proved how important something as simple as a table tennis or foosball table can be in supporting people on their personal journeys, as well as those for care for them.
Leah McMullan of Life Fitness UK, said: “As a local company, we are always keen to support our community where possible and are delighted to see the positive effects that our competition prizes are having on the lives of people in our area.”