Leyland couple's fun charity fund-raiser celebrating community spirit in Lostock Hall

A Leyland couple put smiles on faces by hosting a fun charity event in Lostock Hall earlier this month.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 9:41 am
Kimberley and Adam Grant (front right) of AK Active holding a charity celebration.
Kimberley and Adam Grant (front right) of AK Active holding a charity celebration.

Newlyweds Adam and Kimberley Badat held the celebration at AK Active in Watkin Lane Sports Centre, Ward Street.

The free afternoon was organised to celebrate community spirit and raise money for both Team William and dog rescue charity, Homeless Hounds.

Kimberley said: "The event went really well and the Mayor of South Ribble came along and praised us for helping to bring the community together."

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Guests enjoyed two raffles, a cake stall run by Alice Todd and fitness demonstrations, including boxercise, while Gav Ellis, of NSKA, made a special £100 donation.

Kimberley said the event reflects AK Active's aim to bring people together, make them smile and help them become mentally strong using the power of exercise and nutrition.

She added: "Not one of our clients would say their confidence hasn't blossomed after taking part in our exercise sessions. It's amazing.

"They all see us as a friend and the support they give each other is brilliant. They actually feel part of something, rather than just turning up to a workout and walking out the door afterwards. They're part of a community and they know us on a personal level."

The community day included fitness taster sessions

The fitness fanatics offer a circuits class to clients, followed by a game of basketball, which has been designed to inject fun and laughter into exercise.

"I'm rubbish at circuits so people see us at our best and worst, which shows we're human too," Kimberley said.

"At the end of a session we do a group game to make people laugh and smile. They're doing sit-ups while laughing and end up walking out the door feeling happy and like they've achieved something."

The pair also offer a support group that members can always access, even if they leave AK Active.

Louise Butcher and Peter Horner of Homeless Hounds with Dexter.

"If we were to spend 28 days building up people's confidence and then kick them out of the support group it would have all been for nothing. They might then be back to square one and we don't believe in that. Instead, they get the support forever," Kimberley said.

"A lot of our members suffer from anxiety and depression. One in six are thought to suffer from anxiety but I think there's more. People just hide it because they're embarrassed and that's what we want to try and overcome."

The exercise queen was inspired to launch AK Active with her husband Adam after using exercise to gain confidence. The mother-of-two became house-bound after being mentally abused by a former partner. She suffered from anxiety and depression and turned to food for comfort, ballooning to size 18.

But after taking up dancing, pole-dancing and aerial hoops, she reclaimed her life and was determined to help others become mentally strong.

Lostock Hall residents enjoying a free fitness class.

"I have asthma and a hole in my heart so as a child I was always the one with a note saying I couldn't do PE. I always thought exercise was horrible," she said.

"But we don't mind if people bring children to the sessions to sit on the side as we're family-orientated and one client has said her daughter now wants to be a personal trainer when she's older. It's good to see children thinking about exercise positively as I hated it when I was younger."

Kimberley, a former hairdresser in Buckshaw Village, added: "We've pushed and pushed and pushed to build AK Active while working other jobs and I never took a penny from it in the first four years. It was only in May that I started taking a wage.

"We sometimes work until 10pm at night and put all our money back into it. Adam's a design engineer and he's never taken a penny from it. That just shows that it's more about what we can give to people. It's not about getting as much money as we can but about building it up so we can help as many people as possible."