Residents at Broughton House Veteran Care Village are keeping in trim at a new bespoke gym created as part of its £13m redevelopment.
Specially-designed equipment has been installed at the care village in Salford after it received a £24,000 grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation, a charity which helps fund self-development through participation in sport.
Broughton House chief executive Karen Miller said: “The ability for our residents to have access to a gym is crucial to their physical and mental wellbeing, particularly as care homes have been, and will continue to be, subject to a number of restrictions due to the pandemic.
“This gym provides a welcome safe space for our residents to keep fit and active, and it is proving a huge hit with them. We have been able to provide add-ons which give improved accessibility and safe use to those veterans who have limited mobility or physical disability.
“The gym is a wonderful feature of our new care village and has been made possible by a generous grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation. It’s having a positive impact on the residents and we are sincerely grateful to the foundation and its trustees for their fantastic support.”
The gym features a chest and legs machine which provides a full body workout to improve arm strength and lower limb muscle strength and balance.
This machine also helps improve stamina for those with cardiorespiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and benefits those with neurological conditions or disability by improving their symmetry and strength.
The Cross Cycle exercises the whole body and provides a cardiovascular and resistance workout, improving leg strength and upper limb mobility and strength. It improves aerobic fitness and good movement of prime muscles and joints, and regular use helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The Rotary Torso machine provides an upper body twist to help with hip movement and flexibility and muscles around the waistline. It helps to strengthen the abdominal wall and lower back.
All three machines have accessories which make access easier for residents transferring from a wheelchair or hoisting equipment.
The equipment has been designed, manufactured and installed by Yorkshire-based Shapemaster Global, which supplies power-assisted exercise machines for older adults and those who live with long-term health conditions or need an accessible exercise alternative for rehabilitation.
David Heathcote, head of business development at Shapemaster, said: “We’re extremely proud that our power-assisted exercise machines will help the veterans to keep fit and healthy as they enjoy their years at Broughton House.”
Andrew Ross, director of the Peter Harrison Foundation, said: “The late Peter Harrison visited Broughton House on one of his trips to Manchester to watch Chelsea play, and he was hugely impressed with its history of care for veterans. He was brought up in the north west and was also keenly interested in, and knowledgeable about, military history.
“The plan to invest in a specialised gym to enhance fitness and rehabilitation programmes for the veterans was a perfect fit for the Foundation’s use of funds to promote sport and exercise for people with disabilities.
“Peter was pleased to help this initiative with a grant for the Foundation to pay for fitting out the new gym with specialised exercise equipment.”
World War Two veteran Derrick Corfield, 94, who moved into Broughton House earlier this year following an accident on his electric scooter, said: “It’s great having the gym. I put on a bit of weight after my accident when I couldn’t move around as much as I used to. Now that I’m using the gym, I can notice the difference. I’m getting stronger, but I still need to lose a few pounds, so I think I’m going to increase my sessions.”
Broughton House is undergoing a £13m transformation to create the UK’s first Veteran Care Village. The first stage of the redevelopment was completed last September, when veterans moved into a new three-storey building which has 32 residential and nursing care beds over two floors.
The next stage of the scheme is under way and will feature 32 residential care and residential dementia care beds and six independent living apartments alongside an Armed Forces Support Hub. Broughton House is continuing to raise funds for the project.
Pictured: Derrick Corfield in the gym with Broughton House’s activities coordinator Emma Gerrard.