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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Social enterprise gym fights off homelessness threat

 

Projekt 42 has succeeded in securing temporary premises as it creates a new purpose built facility in Leith

A gym which faced a period of limbo has secured a new temporary base.

Projekt 42 is currently working on creating a new permanent home for its gym, which aims to tackle poor mental health in Edinburgh through activity, after securing funding earlier this year.

The gym faced an uncertain future, when it was revealed last week it had just 10 days to find new premises after its lease at its existing base in Newkirkgate in Leith was terminated.

However the social enterprise has secured new premises just steps away from where it has been operating for more than a year.

The gym will move into the second floor of the YMCA Edinburgh building in Junction Place, which is less than a five minute walk from Newkirkgate, on Sunday (August 5).

Projekt 42 founder Sara Hawkins said she was relieved that the gym will not be letting down any of its members by having to close its doors for a period of time.

“This is the first time we have realised the type of commitment we have made to the community,” Hawkins told TFN.

“We are not in a place where we can just close the doors for a few months. For any of the people that come to the gym, one of our classes may be the only place they go in a day.

“I think we have really realised how important we are to the local community.”

Projekt 42 was contacted by a range of organisations providing offers to accommodate the gym, including a nearby private leisure club, however Hawkins said the YMCA was selected due to its proximity and the fact the project already provides support to the community in Leith.

She said: “We had quite a lot of people coming forward and suggesting places we could move into.

“The YMCA was the only community project that got in touch, and we thought that partnering with them would be really positive as it will benefit them as well as us.”

Hawkins set up the not-for-profit community gym in 2017 after being diagnosed with PTSD in 2012. She found that a combination of physical exercise, counselling and life coaching helped to improve her mental health and the initiative aims to help individuals across Leith enhance their mental wellbeing through the Projekt 42 programme.

The gym offers classes on a pay-as-you-go basis and memberships at a base rate of £22.50 a month, however is flexible in allowing people to join even if they cannot afford to pay. Alongside help to get fit, a focus is given to ensure that members can also improve their mental wellbeing.

Funding has been secured for the social enterprise to open a new permanent home in Halmyre Street, which Projekt 42 hopes to open towards the end of the year.

Hawkins said: “We are still searching for suppliers, builders and contractors to help build the facility. There is still a lot of work going on behind the scenes and we would encourage anyone who thinks they may be able to help to get in touch.”

 

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