A Greater Manchester mother has overcome her debilitating depression to set up a fitness business with her husband, thanks to backing from a pioneering scheme supporting people returning to work. 31-year-old Clare Davies became inspired to set up Fitspiration Fitness with her husband Kevin after taking part in the Working Well programme, which aims to aid employment and to support allowance claimants who have not worked for at least three years in overcoming their obstacles.
All four of Clare’s children were born prematurely and while she and Kevin were determined to provide the very best love and care for them, the intense demands of nursing each child to full health was taxing on Clare. But through the employment and health focused Working Well programme, delivered in her case by specialists Ingeus, she was encouraged to turn her enthusiasm for an active lifestyle in to a business.
Kevin had encouraged Clare to use fitness and physical activities as a way of curing her depression and subsequently her healthy slowly improved. Jobcentre Plus referred Clare to Working Well, and key worker at Ingeus Steph Bartle, who has stated, “She had already embarked on a college course in Oldham to gain her Level 2 fitness instruction qualification and so we suggested to Clare and Kevin that their joint enthusiasm for an active lifestyle could be turned in to a profitable business”.
The pair were helped to register their business and introduced to others who could offer practical help and advice. Clare and Kevin are now based at Hollinwood Gym in Chadderton and are utilising their expertise and enthusiasm to inspire others, including those experiencing depression or unemployment.
Working Well is a Greater Manchester-wide ‘help to work’ programme, which is overseen by Greater Manchester Combined Authority. GMCA aims to support 5,000 employment support allowance claimants, who have not worked for at least three years, and people taking part in the programme receive a package of support tailored to their needs.
Kevin has commented upon the effectiveness of the programme, he said “Without Working Well and Ingeus we could never have got off the ground. The belief they had in us really encouraged us and now Clare can mix the demands of being a busy mum with having a life of her own”.