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HCM People
Aaron Brooks-Thornett

A donation-based payment system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This also challenges me to keep service levels high


What’s your USP as a PT?
Nature is a great healer and offers the chance to be playful, so I conduct my sessions outdoors as much as possible.

As I’m based in Cornwall, I like to meet clients at the beach, or in the woods, and we do a mixture of cardio and bodyweight exercises using minimal equipment.

I encourage them to appreciate what they have on their doorstep, as many of them don’t make the most of the natural environment that’s all around them.

As our physical, mental and emotional selves are all connected – for example if you put on weight it’s not just your body which is affected – I like to take a holistic approach. I start and end each session with meditation, encouraging people to relax, centre themselves, take in their surroundings and look at the sky.

Exercise has always been a release for me. I have personal experience of using exercise to create a better and healthier life and to feel better about myself, so my aim with Freely Given is to reach out to people who need it most, many of whom are disadvantaged.

How have you gone about this?
I’ve reached out to GP surgeries offering to work with people as part of the social prescribing scheme. Because many of the people who could benefit the most from personal training can’t afford the service, I work on a donation-based system, so people pay what they can afford via an honesty box or an internet link.

A donation system sounds laudable, how does it work out?
I find it works really well. I was inspired by a donation-based meditation retreat I attended, and by the community waste food cafés using the same model.

I encourage people to pay what they can afford – so if money isn’t a problem to give generously in order to let me work more cheaply with those who wouldn’t usually be able to afford PT.

I was very keen to be able to reach out to people who need personal training and not to exclude those who could most benefit from the service.

A donation based system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This challenges me to keep service levels high. I don’t live a lavish lifestyle – that’s not what I aspire to.

My business costs are low and I go to cool and exciting places – both outdoors and people’s homes. Working this way feels exciting and creative and allows me to show my values and attitudes.

Plus, I believe the current economic system is outdated: continuous growth in a finite climate is a farce. I’d rather grow the business for the benefit of people, not money. I like trusting people’s natural trait to want to give and be generous.

You have to have faith and give people the opportunity to show their nice side.

What has been your experience of finding clients?
In Cornwall, it’s easy to find people from marginalised backgrounds – through GP surgeries, food banks, clothing banks. It’s much harder to find affluent people, so far they have come through networking and word of mouth.

Is money the main barrier for low income clients?
Money is a big issue, but sometimes people just don’t know how to get started – where to go or what to do – and need support with their confidence.

Many of my clients are intimidated by gyms and think they’ll be unfriendly environments full of fit, good looking people. I think operators could help to overcome this by offering a buddy system: inviting, or incentivising experienced members to accompany newbies on their first few visits.

What are your ambitions?
My dream is to be able to continue my work and have a positive impact on as many people as possible. I’m also looking for external sources of funding to help me do this and have applied to the National Lottery and also to the Tudor Trust. I hope I can find a source of support which will enable me to extend my work to other vulnerable groups.

Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

GymPraaktis develops AI Exercise Engine software to revolutionise at-home fitness
Health and wellness software company, GymPraaktis, is launching its new Exercise Engine software for gyms and members looking to improve their fitness routines from home. [more...]

The Virtual Revolution: Hutchison Technologies help operators motivate members
Hutchison Technologies virtual solutions are helping operators expand their virtual offering and get motivated members back into the club. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
Core Health & Fitness

We offer the commercial fitness and health club marketplace an unmatched portfolio of brands. [more...]
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A new zone is here for your club, for your members and for you. Find out more...
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30 Sep 2020

European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF)

Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-02 Oct 2020

CCR London

ExCeL London, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
HCM People
Aaron Brooks-Thornett

A donation-based payment system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This also challenges me to keep service levels high


What’s your USP as a PT?
Nature is a great healer and offers the chance to be playful, so I conduct my sessions outdoors as much as possible.

As I’m based in Cornwall, I like to meet clients at the beach, or in the woods, and we do a mixture of cardio and bodyweight exercises using minimal equipment.

I encourage them to appreciate what they have on their doorstep, as many of them don’t make the most of the natural environment that’s all around them.

As our physical, mental and emotional selves are all connected – for example if you put on weight it’s not just your body which is affected – I like to take a holistic approach. I start and end each session with meditation, encouraging people to relax, centre themselves, take in their surroundings and look at the sky.

Exercise has always been a release for me. I have personal experience of using exercise to create a better and healthier life and to feel better about myself, so my aim with Freely Given is to reach out to people who need it most, many of whom are disadvantaged.

How have you gone about this?
I’ve reached out to GP surgeries offering to work with people as part of the social prescribing scheme. Because many of the people who could benefit the most from personal training can’t afford the service, I work on a donation-based system, so people pay what they can afford via an honesty box or an internet link.

A donation system sounds laudable, how does it work out?
I find it works really well. I was inspired by a donation-based meditation retreat I attended, and by the community waste food cafés using the same model.

I encourage people to pay what they can afford – so if money isn’t a problem to give generously in order to let me work more cheaply with those who wouldn’t usually be able to afford PT.

I was very keen to be able to reach out to people who need personal training and not to exclude those who could most benefit from the service.

A donation based system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This challenges me to keep service levels high. I don’t live a lavish lifestyle – that’s not what I aspire to.

My business costs are low and I go to cool and exciting places – both outdoors and people’s homes. Working this way feels exciting and creative and allows me to show my values and attitudes.

Plus, I believe the current economic system is outdated: continuous growth in a finite climate is a farce. I’d rather grow the business for the benefit of people, not money. I like trusting people’s natural trait to want to give and be generous.

You have to have faith and give people the opportunity to show their nice side.

What has been your experience of finding clients?
In Cornwall, it’s easy to find people from marginalised backgrounds – through GP surgeries, food banks, clothing banks. It’s much harder to find affluent people, so far they have come through networking and word of mouth.

Is money the main barrier for low income clients?
Money is a big issue, but sometimes people just don’t know how to get started – where to go or what to do – and need support with their confidence.

Many of my clients are intimidated by gyms and think they’ll be unfriendly environments full of fit, good looking people. I think operators could help to overcome this by offering a buddy system: inviting, or incentivising experienced members to accompany newbies on their first few visits.

What are your ambitions?
My dream is to be able to continue my work and have a positive impact on as many people as possible. I’m also looking for external sources of funding to help me do this and have applied to the National Lottery and also to the Tudor Trust. I hope I can find a source of support which will enable me to extend my work to other vulnerable groups.

Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
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Body Fit Training and F45 locked in legal battle over patents
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Xponential Fitness plans 50 locations in Saudi Arabia in deal with Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Company
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Activity sector unites to push back over Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan
Chancellor Rishi Sunak's proposals to support the economy through the next six months of the pandemic "are not enough" to secure the future of the physical activity sector.
Good news – gyms and group exercise classes not affected by new 'Rule of Six'
The government's 'rule of six' has come into force in leisure settings today (24 September), with indoor sports heavily affected by the changes.
Bear Grylls leads activities on another successful National Fitness Day
The UK's physical activity sector has come together to get millions of people active during National Fitness Day 2020.
Exercise and depression – promising research published
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California gyms sue state over COVID-19 closures
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Letter to Boris: give us a central role in COVID-19 recovery, says activity sector
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Gyms in the UK are continuing to control COVID-19 – research
Gyms in the UK are continuing to successfully control COVID-19 transmisssion, according to the latest figures released by industry body, ukactive.
People believe exercising is the best way to support the NHS
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FEATURED SUPPLIERS

GymPraaktis develops AI Exercise Engine software to revolutionise at-home fitness
Health and wellness software company, GymPraaktis, is launching its new Exercise Engine software for gyms and members looking to improve their fitness routines from home. [more...]

The Virtual Revolution: Hutchison Technologies help operators motivate members
Hutchison Technologies virtual solutions are helping operators expand their virtual offering and get motivated members back into the club. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
Core Health & Fitness

We offer the commercial fitness and health club marketplace an unmatched portfolio of brands. [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

MyZone Group Ltd - A new Zone is here
A new zone is here for your club, for your members and for you. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

30 Sep 2020

European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF)

Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-02 Oct 2020

CCR London

ExCeL London, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

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