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Callywith College launches new exercise programme

It’s always fantastic to hear about new, innovative ways of supporting people in the community.

Callywith College’s Community Engagement Programme aims to provide bespoke sessions to boost healthier lifestyles in East Cornwall.

Callywith Active is offering 12 weeks of free exercise referral sessions, funded by Sport England with sessions to be delivered by qualified personal trainers with exercise referral qualifications in the brand-new gym in the Fox building at Callywith College.

The programme is flexible, with people being able to refer themselves or via a GP or social prescriber from the local area. The individual will then be able to make use of the gym once a week, along with guidance on how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Julian Wills, the Callywith Active Coordinator, has been thrilled with the scheme’s launch: “This is a really exciting time for the College because supporting the wider community can have so many benefits and is very important to us. The College should be the fulcrum of the whole of the community and if we can make that happen by using these initiatives, then that compliments all the educational programmes.”

A key advantage of the programme is the support it provides to the NHS: “We know that the health service is under significant pressure and by being able to offer a GP exercise referral programme, it will hopefully alleviate some of the pressure that the practitioners and GPs are under. If we can use physical exercise as a way of improving people’s health and wellbeing, rather than them depending on medication, that has to be a positive thing.”

Karin Harris, one of the first people to use the scheme with Dave, her husband, felt the scheme was extremely beneficial: “This was an opportunity I couldn't refuse! I literally had no excuses left as this was on my doorstep in a lovely brand-new gym with wonderful views over Bodmin while I exercised!

“We are both in our 60’s and Dave has type 2 diabetes and although we had been active in the past, we had fallen into bad habits.”

The scheme has given them the opportunity to get fit and lose weight which helps Dave control his medication, so it does not control his life, and makes Karin feel better about herself.

Karin continued: “The Personal Trainer was very welcoming and knowledgeable, and we went home feeling that we had found somewhere that we would want to come back to and commit to completing in achievable steps.”

This programme is not the only way that Callywith College is assisting the community either. Julian added: “During the term time holidays we are working with external partners to run holiday schemes for young people. This includes Plymouth Argyle’s Community Trust, Exeter Chiefs and Cornish Pirates, who will come in and run holiday programmes in conjunction with us on the site. The first of these holiday fun days takes place on Thursday 28 October, when Argyle Community Trust are running a football day for 5-15 year olds, for only £18 per child.”

Callywith Active have also just received funding to help change the behaviours of parents of children participating in sports sessions on the College 3G Astro pitch. This new Sport England funded initiative includes offering free gym sessions for female parents who would usually stand on the sidelines of the pitch watching their children play rugby on Monday evenings.

For more information on the Callywith Active Community Engagement Programme, contact


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