Letchworth gym set to host ‘fitathon’ in bid to tackle period poverty

Joyce Thornton, Steve Jones and Amy Gypps gearing up for the Nuffield Centre 'Fitathon' in bid to ta

Joyce Thornton, Steve Jones and Amy Gypps gearing up for the Nuffield Centre 'Fitathon' in bid to tackle period poverty. Picture: Nikiesha Sidhu - Credit: Archant

Nuffield Health Centre in Letchworth is set to host a fundraising ‘fitathon’ to raise awareness and donations to aid period poverty.

Organised by fitness instructor Steve Jones and group exercise instructor Joyce Thornton, the challenge will see members and guests participate in four exercise classes at the club on Saturday.

Guests are invited to go along in return for donations of sanitary towels and tampons to aid period poverty in schools locally, as well as women and girls in less privileged countries.

Joyce, who is the duty manager at Nuffield Health Letchworth, said: "I was staggered to read that 137,000 British girls miss school every year due to not being able to afford tampons and sanitary towels.

"I felt touched and inspired to put the weight of Nuffield as a leading health organisation which values include 'to care' behind this issue to raise awareness and donations of products for local schools."

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According to research by Plan International UK - a charity dedicated to children's rights and equality for girls worldwide - one in 10 girls have been unable to afford pads or tampons, while one in seven struggled to afford the products.

Research also revealed that 12 per cent of girls have had to improvise with sanitary wear due to the expense.

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Fitness instructor and personal trainer Steve added: "This seems to be something that men bury their heads in the sand about and something I wasn't previously as aware about as I am now.

"We would be interested in contact from local schools that would like donations and also that would like to come along on the day.

"Joyce is sponsoring the project and it's something she has a great passion for and has recruited me as a lead - what better way to raise awareness of what can be seen as a problem isolated to women than get a bloke to lead it!

"We have an action packed day of a variety of fitness classes, from indoor cycling to kettleballs, challenging members and guests to participate in four classes. "Non-members can join in the fun simply by coming down to the club."

Classes will be running at the gym in Letchworth Lane from 8am until 2pm on Saturday.

For further details or to book classes, go to nuffieldhealth.com or call 01462 681075.

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