Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre
The Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre in the London Borough of Camden was awarded £14,011 towards the provision of a free community gym. The project involved the purchase and installation of gym equipment at the centre, to encourage and support physical activity amongst a wide range of physically inactive people. The Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre is located within the Regents Park Estate which is in one of the most deprived wards in Camden and the UK, and an aim of the free community gym is to provide access to physical activity opportunities to people in the area who otherwise may not be able to participate.
Within the first year since the installation of the new equipment, the centre has reported an increase in the number of users of the free community gym across all age groups, through holding free daily gym sessions and youth projects. As a result of this, 252 children attended gym sessions in the first year and the majority of those had not previously been taking part in regular physical activity. Since participating in the sessions, children and young people have reported that they are more able to live a healthier lifestyle and they have more knowledge about fitness training.
183 adults also attended gym sessions in the first year, including free women’s only gym sessions that the centre now runs, and of these attendees the majority were previously inactive. The number of senior citizens using the free gym has also increased, and overall, the average number of users per session has increased from 15 to 18, further demonstrating how the new equipment is helping more people across all age ranges to be physically active more often.
The facility has been more popular than anticipated, hitting its targets for participation numbers early and surpassed their participation targets and reaching more people of all ages than anticipated.
The London Marathon Charitable Trusts provides funding to help thousands of children and adults across the UK to become and remain active for life, particularly amongst underrepresented groups. The free community gym at the Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre has enabled a wide range of participants across different age and social groups to become more physically active, and feel the benefits associated with a more active lifestyle.