John’s gym expertise is sought after

An Oxleas OT is being sought by the London Wellbeing & Inclusion Programme for his expertise in setting up a gym for service users.

John Warden, who has worked at the Woodlands Unit activity suite in Sidcup for the past two-and-a-half-years, has been invited to produce a guide to setting up a gym in a mental health unit.

It all came about after John, 40, gave a presentation about the gym at The London Physical Activity & Mental Wellbeing Conference. Afterwards Traci Aina, Programme Support Manager, London Wellbeing & Inclusion Programme, wrote to John saying: “It was clear from your presentation that you are running an exemplary physical activity facility and I was hoping you would be willing to work with me on producing a guide following your example at the Woodlands Unit?”

Brought up in Erith, John, who now lives in the Medway Towns in Kent, has worked for the trust for eight years. A keen martial arts enthusiast John said: “I feel strongly about using alternative ways to help people with mental illness and physical fitness is one of those.”

John gained a Level two gym instructor qualification through the YMCA and opened the Woodlands gym in January 2008. He said: “Thanks to the efforts of colleagues Phil Brooker, a healthcare assistant and Charlie Venner, a staff nurse, we now have a superb facility that boasts top quality equipment including: a Concept 2 rowing machine; a cross trainer, an upright cycle, a treadmill and a multi-gym machine. And we are presently trying to get more funds to further improve the equipment.”