Our East Midlands Regional Campaigns Officer Claire Lawrence has been working with organisations responsible for fitness training in the UK as well as as many chain gyms as possible to help encourage more blind and partially sighted people into their facilities.

Claire's a trained gym instructor and delighted to have had the opportunity to link this work with her day job as a Regional Campaigns Officer. Working with organisations and gyms throughout the UK, she hopes she's been able to improve staff awareness of visual impairment, highlight the importance of accessible equipment, and also help visually impaired people overcome their fears about joining a gym.

Accrediting visual awareness in fitness

We've got some great news, soon all personal trainers and fitness staff will have to learn about supporting people with sight loss to get fit as part of their roles.
This is the result of a meeting between Claire, a group of volunteers, a personal trainer and UKActive, the organisation responsible for fitness in the UK, as well as CIMSPA, the organisation responsible for training staff in the fitness industry. One of the volunteers present, Dan Powell, is the creator of the Visual Awareness in Fitness course which is soon to be accredited. 
During the meeting, Claire and her volunteers demonstrated the benefits of the Visual Awareness in Fitness course to UKActive and CIMSPA. As a result, they've decided to accredit the course. This is a fantastic achievement in the campaign to make getting fit accessible to blind and partially sighted people.