Date of release: 15 June 2020
#DoingOurBit started as a passion project for Julie Davis, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Clinical Research Network West Midlands. An amateur powerlifter who is currently working towards her Level 3 PT qualification, Julie advocates exercise for physical and mental wellbeing. As the physical and emotional impact of treating COVID-19 patients took its toll on her 190-strong workforce, Julie wanted to pull together some free workouts and relaxation sessions to help her colleagues cope.
The initiative caught the eye of her colleagues at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust which wanted to offer the workouts to its near 10,000 members of staff. All of a sudden Julie needed a bigger platform and professional support. She turned to Study Active and its awarding organisation Active IQ - with whom she has done her own training - and they, in turn, introduced fibodo to host this ambitious idea.
#DoingOurBit is a simple idea which invites personal trainers to ‘give back’ to the hard-working NHS workers who could benefit from brief but effective workouts at home and between their shifts. A launch group of 25 instructors pulled together over 30 workouts from relaxation and stretch sessions to low impact and body weight workouts right up to more energetic higher intensity routines to suit the beginner to intermediate target audience.
“I was simply overwhelmed by the quick and positive reaction I had for my idea with Active IQ, fibodo and Study Active giving their time and expertise immediately and freely,” says Julie. “The speed at which they all worked to take my concept into a fully-fledged and workable idea was really impressive and their attention to detail extraordinary. Within six weeks I had gone from a casual conversation with Study Active to a fantastic fitness platform bespoke to my NHS colleagues. I can’t thank enough these three leisure industry partners for bringing my vision to life.”
Study Active, Active IQ and its agency Action Group, reached out to their best PT contacts and co-ordinated the first wave of trainers to get #DoingOurBit established. The response was rapid with PTs quick to suggest a workout or two that they would record and gift to the NHS. #DoingOurBit t-shirts were designed for a uniform look and each PT recorded their workout for fibodo to upload onto the bespoke platform.
The site and individual workouts are personalised to the NHS and the content is unique. The PTs worked to exacting criteria set by Study Active and Active IQ and a rigorous quality control process was implemented to ensure all the workouts are safe and effective.
“Julie had a great idea and we were keen to help,” says James Luscombe, Study Active managing director. “Immediately clear to us was the need to work with trusted PTs who would share the vision and be able to produce professional yet personalised sessions: indeed, it’s the personalisation and ‘fitness gift’ to the NHS that set #DoingOurBit apart.”
“When we heard Julie’s idea, we set out to help create something personal and friendly but also of the highest quality and integrity,” says Jenny Patrickson, Active IQ managing director. “Our External Verifier team quickly stepped up to share their expertise to check the safety and quality of all the workouts. In this way, #DoingOurBit will stand the test of time and prove valuable to NHS staff long after lockdown and we’re proud to have played our part.”
“Our team worked round the clock to create the bespoke pages and ensure ease of accessibility for users on a friendly platform,” says David Hendry, Marketing Director for Fibido. “Behind the warm welcome sits a robust system that can upscale to accept more PTs and workouts and the many more users we anticipate, as other NHS trusts request access for their staff.”
Professor Sultan Mahmud, Director of Innovation, Integration and Research for RWT, said: “Protecting the health and wellbeing of staff is so important, particularly as we continue to deliver services through this period of increased pressure.
“This platform offers free and quick opportunities to keep fit - which is great if you are trying to improve physical health but are stuck for time between shifts - and the fact it is available online means it is accessible for all staff.
“Thank you to Julie, and the partners who supported her, for dedicating your time to creating this wellbeing offer for staff. I’m sure it will have a great impact.”
#DoingOurBit went live on 15 June 2020 and staff wanting to access the platform can do so by visiting the Trust’s intranet pages.