Recent events have led us to turn our sights inwards. Keeping our facilities afloat and providing for our loved ones has been an overwhelming focus over the last months.
But while we’ve been thinking about how to lead our businesses through change and what sort of digital element to add to our service, a second pandemic has been sweeping across the nation: the food poverty pandemic.
“The W10 community alone is collecting £12k a year – 40,000 breakfasts for hungry children across England.”
Earlier this year, in the midst of the Covid crisis, the government cancelled free meals for vulnerable children and families – a decision that Marcus Rashford immediately lobbied to reverse and was successful. But even with this hasty crisis addressed, the knock-on socio-economic impact of the global pandemic is hitting the most vulnerable families hard. And children are going hungry as a result.
So while the majority of our communications here at the IFBA focus around driving more revenue, we’re going to turn our sights to the community for a moment and talk about how the independent fitness sector can come together and create positive change.
Pre-Covid, 1.8 million school age children in the UK were at risk of hunger in the morning – a number that has undoubtedly increased in recent months. This impacts their ability to concentrate in lessons, having a knock-on effect on their development and their future.
A charity called Magic Breakfast are fighting this sad state of affairs. For 30p, Magic Breakfast can give a child a healthy breakfast and wrap-around support at school, giving them the nourishment and care they need to learn. In our minds, this is truly at the core of health at a fundamental level. If children aren’t being fuelled properly (or at all), this will have a significant effect on their wellbeing – not just in their day-to-day life, but in the longer term too.
“At testing times like these, we have the chance to show our true colours.”
At IFBA flagship gym W10, we’ve already mobilised our membership base to support this worthwhile cause. For every single direct debit that comes into the W10 account, we send £2 to Magic Breakfast. And our members match this amount, bringing the donation per payment to £4: £2 from W10’s pocket, and £2 from our members’. Our W10 community alone is collecting £12k a year – 40,000 breakfasts for hungry children across England.
We’re also in the process of rolling this out to our IFBA member gyms to harness the power of the collective.
We now want to open this up to non-IFBA member gyms, mobilising the entire industry. With your help, we can take the initiative to the next level, scaling the impact to make a really massive difference. 480 schools and 48,000 disadvantaged children that could be just around the corner from you will benefit directly.
We appreciate that times are tough, and commercial revenue may be down for some of us; but it’s at testing times like these that we have the chance to show our true colours and engage in something truly necessary and positive for society. If a club and its 1,000 members supports this cause, they would provide more than 13,000 breakfasts for children living across the UK. Some children come to school with the scraps of yesterday’s takeaway in their lunch boxes: this should not be happening.
If you’re interested in getting on board, please email our IFBA Community Manager Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy will work with every gym who signs up, using existing templates and structures to make the process as straightforward as possible and minimise your operational burden.
Be the aspirational leader your community deserves: step up and join us in this worthy cause that addresses health and fitness at the most fundamental level.