Boxing star Jack Catterall steps out of the ring to open gym facility in Chorley

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Professional boxer Jack Catterall took a break from training to open a new outdoor gym at a mental health unit in his home town.

The light welterweight boxer was invited to cut the ribbon at the official opening at Chorley Hospital on Wednesday, June 22.

The Chorley inpatient resource can be accessed by service users at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust’s Worden, Avenham and Duxbury Wards (all based at Chorley Hospital). The gym has been installed in a dedicated outdoor well-being courtyard.

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Jack said: “There’s a strong connection between mental and physical health.

Boxing star Jack Catterall helped open the new facilityBoxing star Jack Catterall helped open the new facility
Boxing star Jack Catterall helped open the new facility

"Gyms should be a safe space where people can go, feel good about themselves and escape from the stresses of everyday life for a while.

"It’s something that’s worked for me. I believe facilities like this should be available at all hospitals everywhere in the country.”

The equipment, which includes cross-trainers, slalom skiers, rowers, exercise bikes and a punching dummy, cost £16,500.

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It was part funded by a charitable summer ball held in September 2019 which was organised by staff at the Chorley inpatient wards, with £10,000 also coming from NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) – the grant was in relation to fundraising carried out by individuals during the pandemic and donating to the NHS. A large part of the grant received was from the fundraising raised by the late Captain Tom Moore.

Members of staff using the new gym equipmentMembers of staff using the new gym equipment
Members of staff using the new gym equipment
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Service users got to try out the equipment, chat to Jack, see him in action sparring and enjoy a special lunch.

Russ Moretta, Chorley Inpatients Service Manager at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We’re all aware of the correlation between physical and mental health and it’s something we’ve been working on for a while now.

"Most of our Trust’s mental health units have gym facilities, but we were struggling to find the space. Using the outdoor courtyard is great because being outdoors also brings well-being benefits, especially in the summer months. I’m sure it’s going to be a great benefit to service users and staff alike.”

Russ added: “It’s been great having Jack here. The service users have loved being able to meet a celebrity and having selfies with him.”

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