Home > News > Ponteland gym members and community ‘row’ their support to St Oswald’s Hospice

No1 Gym, which specialises in semi-personal training, began fundraising for St Oswald’s in 2020 and held a ‘Beach Day’ themed event and some other fundraising challenges within the gym for members to take part in. The Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to their planned activities as government restrictions forced the gym to close its doors several times over the last 18 months. Now the team are back open, they were eager to set a challenge that all of their members, trainers and wider community could be part of.

The challenge was to row 100 miles in under 12 hours on a rowing machine in the gym. As the machine resets after 30 seconds of inactivity, it was vital that there were enough willing participants to keep the rowing going all day, so staff called upon their members and local community to keep the rowing going all day.

James Milburn, Co-owner and Head trainer at No1 Gym said:

“St Oswald’s Hospice is a charity close to the hearts of many of our gym members either through working there as staff or having had loved ones cared for there. When we decided to start raising funds for a local charity, St Oswald’s seemed a worthy and obvious choice.

“It’s brilliant to be open again and able to welcome back our members, so we thought we’d set them a challenge and raise some funds for the hospice at the same time.”

The challenge began at 5.20am and over 50 people took part over the course of the day. Everyone from sixth formers on their way home from school to passers-by who were curious about the activity happening on the pavement outside the gym. At midday, staff from St Oswald’s fundraising team arrived to lend support with hospice fundraiser Emily helping to clock up some kilometres.

Suzanne Fox from No1 Gym added:

“It was a brilliant day, everyone did a great job of keeping the rowing constant and it was lovely to have children popping in after school and the community getting involved and putting donations in our buckets.

We ended up hitting our 100 mile target at 4.30pm, with James rowing the final mile. When our evening staff came in to find the challenge had been completed, they didn’t want to miss out, so they covered an additional 25 miles! It was a great team effort”

Thanks to the support of their staff, gym members and Ponteland community, the No1 Gym team raised £845 for St Oswald’s Hospice. These funds will help the local charity to provide care to the adults and children who use their services.

Kirsty McDonald, Business Partnerships Fundraiser at St Oswald’s Hospice said:

“We are so grateful to our friends at No1 Gym, and their wonderful members who helped make this event such a success. Without our community, the hospice wouldn’t be here today so thank you to everyone who was part of this fabulous day of fundraising.