Aura Wales: Where the Community Benefits

Recently, Aura has been delighted to receive emails and letters from members of the community who use our services. We were very thankful to receive the below statement about Aura’s gym and fitness service:

“Joining the gym can be an intimidating experience, mentally and physically. That’s what I thought before walking into an Aura Wales fitness suite. Now, I look forward to walking through the doors and seeing the friendly faces of the instructors I have gotten to know.

When I first joined, I was walked through the four Aura Steps by Adam who was very friendly and welcoming. I remember how passionately he spoke about his role in the gym and remember his words clearly: “To me, it’s not just about getting people in better shape, it’s about improving how you feel overall as a person.”

He explained that as a not-for-profit organisation, Aura’s priority is to benefit the community. It was nice to understand the place that I was in more, seeing Aura and not just a building. As someone who wasn’t very confident in the gym, it’s great to be able to approach any of the instructors, have a chat with them and feel reassured, even before going into the gym to start exercising. It’s like you have a friend in there, not just a fitness instructor or a personal trainer, it’s a friendly face every time. When you go to one of the fitness suites there is such a wide range of ages. It’s wonderful to see how accessible it is to everyone and not intimidating at all.

The value for money in terms of the membership is amazing when you think about how much the instructors do to support you. At some places, to even go through a fitness plan or have one to one sessions can be an additional cost or an extra on top of a membership. I’m so pleased I decided to take that first step and grateful to Adam for his support. Ultimately, it is all about “improving how you feel overall as a person”, as Adam said to me on my first day at the gym. I genuinely feel so much better in myself and really do believe that Aura is a place where the community benefits.

After receiving these words, we spoke to Adam Renshaw, the fitness instructor mentioned above, about why he feels passionately about working for a not-for-profit fitness suite. Here was his response:

“Knowing that you’ve helped someone to achieve what they set out to do is amazing. It’s great to know that people are feeling so much better in themselves. I really enjoy sitting down with people, devising a plan together of where they want to be in the future and then being able to see them progress and help them on their own personal fitness journey.

At the end of the day, as a not-for-profit organisation, our priority is to benefit the community. Anyone could walk through the doors – regardless of whether they have used gyms before or not – we can start from scratch and we will support you on your fitness journey. I think if you are a personal trainer, there can be a tendency to focus on the people who are paying you per hour, whereas with us, it’s for everyone, regardless of whether you are paying a membership or not: we are here for anyone who comes through the door.”

In light of this, we asked Adam to explain the process of joining the gym and how it is broken up into 4 Steps to ensure that every member is happy and comfortable with the service they receive:

  • “We have our 4 Aura steps. Step 1 is an initial consultation where we will go through a health questionnaire, set the membership up, go through height, weight and blood pressure. We will give you your membership card and give you all the necessary information then and there. If you do want to go through a specific fitness plan, we can also discuss what kind of plan you’d like. We would spend Step 1 just chatting and getting to know each other better, creating a rapport so that you feel comfortable.

 

  • Step 2 goes through the fitness plans we identify for you in Step 1. You could have anything from 2 up to 6 one to one training sessions with a fitness instructor which are 45 minutes to an hour each time. That’s all part of the membership, you’re not paying as a customer for that extra service.

 

  • Then it’s on to Step 3! This could just be a 15 minute review where we’ll ask about how you’re feeling and perhaps suggest a fitness class that would go well with your plan. If it was cardiovascular fitness you were looking at, a spinning class would help to improve it, or even the kettlebell or body toning class. We would have a chat about fitness classes or something different to help promote doing something new.

 

  • Step 4 is basically a full review to see how the first lot of fitness plans went, we can redo your blood pressure, redo weight and body fat measurements. From then on, we would review the plan and look to improve it further. So essentially, we would look back to Step 1 and start the journey again. It’s pretty much an ongoing cycle of one to one training with constant reviews to see how you’re getting on. The value for money in terms of our membership is amazing when you lay it out and put it in that order. The steps can repeat themselves over and over again with no extra cost whatsoever.

Adam’s advice for anyone thinking about making their first steps to improved mental and physical well-being through exercise is: “Don’t hesitate to ask questions, it’s what we are here for! I I’d tell anyone to just go for it, come in here and give it a go and get into your fitness journey.”

Ultimately, we hope Aura is, and continues to be, a place where the community benefits from improved physical and mental well-being. We are here to help you on your way to a happier and healthier life.

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