Thanks to EyUp! charity funding, Unity Centre’s service user gym now has a fitness feature in the form of a motivational mural.
A successful bid for £1,200 from the charity meant that the inpatient unit in Wakefield could commission an inclusive design for the fitness facility’s wall.
Respecting the diversity of the unit’s service users, the gym graphic features the words “Most welcome” in Arabic, and “Motivation” and “Speed” in Polish.
Health and exercise practitioner Nicola Mirfin said: “People with severe mental health conditions coupled with physical health conditions can feel excluded from places like gyms. It’s important for us to always be responsive and sensitive to those who struggle to engage in a more active lifestyle. Sometimes the barriers we do not always recognise can be the reason for disengaging, however we know that art and visual aids are powerful and stimulating.”
Nicola was keen to have a design that steered away from the stereotypical images found in many mainstream gyms. After receiving four concept designs, service users were able to vote for their favourite.
“We want our gym to be inclusive and create an environment that is open, values our cultural differences and most importantly is welcoming to all that use our services. We value and respect all our service users and wanted to enhance this much-loved resource. The mural looks amazing and I cannot thank EyUp! charity enough.”
Service users have already praised the new wall adding wow to their workouts, commenting:
“The mural brightens up the gym, this has helped motivate me”, and “It feels more inclusive and has provided a more stimulating environment.”