Leighton Buzzard's Énergie Fitness wants NHS to use gym as vaccination centre

The team at Leighton Buzzard's Énergie Fitness is appealing to LB Primary Care Network and offering the gym as a vaccination centre.

By Joanna Gravett
Friday, 8th January 2021, 6:26 pm
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 7:18 pm

Operations director Darren Rossiter approached the LBO about his offer after we reported yesterday that no official details about a local vaccination site had been confirmed yet.

The gym has been shut since the town was placed into Tier 4, and Mr Rossiter believes it could be the right site - and opportunity - for the NHS.

He hopes the government, local council, or LB Primary Care Network will get in touch and take up the offer.

Énergie Fitness; Darren Rossiter

He told the LBO: "Obviously with what's in the news at the moment, we just want to help. It's in the centre and it's probably one of the largest spaces within the town of Leighton Buzzard. It's got its own parking and it's a well known area.

"In terms of lockdown we have also shown that we can run a secure facility.

"We are trying to call on the government and NHS and offer our support. This is a call to action."

As a result of the pandemic, the gym has established online fitness classes, as well as mental health 'Mind Fit' classes.

An Énergie Fitness online class.

The team wishes to thank the residents for all their support, as many continued to pay their membership fees after the first lockdown was announced.

Mr Rossiter said: "Friday 20th March is a date I will never forget. We had to lock the gym immediately.

"We had lots of calls from people saying 'FYI, I'm not cancelling my membership, I want to support you guys'. It was overwhelming.

"We had to move the business online and we managed to launch a digital fitness channel, TRENDFIT TV, now working with about 30 plus classes per week.

"We are proud to see over 1000 people, each and every week log in from near and far."

The Énergie team is passionate about helping the community, having previously raised £500 for charity at its Festival of Fitness, and it is now offering help to residents who may be struggling.

The gym is currently offering a offering a one week free trial, as its staff don't wish anyone who is struggling financially to miss out on the mental health benefits of the classes and social interaction.

As well as fitness classes, such as HIIT (High Intensity) Active Fit (low impact), pilates, dance fit, and boxing classes, the gym is also offering 'Mind Fit' for mental health, focussing on self-care, gratitude, relaxing and reflecting, behavioural changes and more.

Meanwhile, Leighton Buzzard Primary Care Network (consisting of Bassett Road Surgery, Leighton Road Surgery and Salisbury House Surgery) announced on social media last month that the vaccination centre would be Leighton Buzzard Rugby Club, although the original notification appears to have since been deleted.

Following the festive season, despite repeated attempts this week, the LBO has so far been unable to get any further confirmation over the vaccination plans directly from the local health bodies.

Could Énergie Fitness be the answer?

Mr Rossiter concluded: "At its peak, the gym had over 2,000 members from all over Leighton Buzzard. We feel we have a duty of care to provide a facility for people, and from a local economy perspective we are all going to benefit [from helping the nation to return to normal].

"The staff that we employ, they live and breathe Leighton Buzzard; their kids go to school here and they were born and bred here. I'm originally from Ireland, but my wife is from Leighton Buzzard. It's a market town and people take their heritage and roots very seriously.

"These are our people and we want to help."

To read the company's online appeal to the NHS and Andrew Selous MP, visit: https://www.facebook.com/497360563700605/posts/3047790585324244/?d=nTo find out more about Énergie Fitness, visit: https://www.energiefitness.com/leighton-buzzardTo access the one week free trial, head over to the TF TV website and join under the '7 Day Unlimited Class Trial', entering the promo code TRENDY at the checkout: https://trendfit.tv/ To read more about the vaccination programme: https://www.leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk/health/coronavirus/volunteers-wanted-help-covid-19-vaccination-programme-leighton-buzzard-wait-confirmed-details-roll-out-continues-3088838