Testimonials from Centre Users

We are more than just a Centre; we are a community where everyone is on their own journey. The Gym and the Activities Programme can often provide a much needed lifeline for those in the local and wider community, offering opportunities to improve healthy living for those of all ages.  Participants benefit from the community spirit that lies at the heart of all Cambrian Centre activities.  A selection of testimonials for both the Activities Programme and the Gym appear below.

Testimonials for the Activities Programme

Melissa is doing a fantastic job running the Weights Class and everyone is full of praise for her. She is kind, attentive, and understanding and no-one is made to feel inadequate in any way. She will always adapt exercises to suit people with dodgy knees etc and she is always encouraging. 
Last week I think there were 10 attendees which is probably the most Melissa would want in the class. I am hoping that as the word spreads she might be able to roll out another session – we will have to wait and see! KM 

I really enjoy coming to table tennis and playing and talking to the other people. It helps to keep me fit and use my brain. It is a very good experience. HJ

I really need and enjoy table tennis. Kate is marvellous at running the sessions. Really good to come to the Centre. JJ

Over the last few years I’ve had to deal with some health issues and I’d come to feel somewhat powerless in the face of my increasing decrepitude. However, a chance encounter changed things for the better. Carla’s Pilates Class was recommended and having taken classes in the distant past, I thought, maybe this is my way back to a healthier body and mind. After half a dozen classes, under Carla’s gentle but watchful gaze, I can feel some of that negative and defeatist mindset fading. Carla’s approach is about embracing the possibility of change and I can personally recommend her classes.  JK 

I joined Carla’s Pilates class after firstly attending the Cambrian Gym, as part of my recovery from a fracture in my lumbar spine. From the very first session I was taken in by Carla’s caring nature and kindness. She goes that extra mile to make every member of the class feel imprtant and special, and always gives help and support with the exercises to those who need it. I also find the class fun, as Carla has an amazing sense of humour.  She is, of course, a very competent  teacher her instructions are easy to follow. Carla is wonderful and I highly recommend her!  RC

Noreen’s Tuesday yoga class at 10.00 is suitable for all levels. It is both in person and online, and very good value. Noreen is a thorough and patient teacher who knows her students individually and has many regular attenders.   HH

I’ve been a member of the gym and the yoga class for several years now, sadly not active recently due to illness making me immobile. I found both the gym and yoga to be very relaxed and informal with great tutors and friendly pupils and can highly recommend both. On a personal note, I find that the yogis in particular keep in touch with me despite my disability, which I find most touching. I wish I could still be with you all.   PF

I loved learning table tennis from a friend at the age of 21 and played on a regular basis for about 4 years. Then when I married and looked after my children it all lapsed. I was delighted to be introduced to table tennis again, 40 years on, through the Cambrian Centre. It is a mainstay of my week and being so close to my home I can go again and again. The fact that I can do something I passionately love is great, even better it’s free! I love seeing people come with little or no experience. They grow to love it and it is amazing how each person improves simply through the weekly commitment. N

David, I’m writing to thank you and all concerned with the running of the Cambrian Centre for the very special contribution to my well-being that you have made over the past few years.The Gym and the Table Tennis ‘club’ have proved to be a great blessing : the Gym for the encouragement  to regain and sustain a better level of fitness; the Table Tennis for the sheer fun of it. Table Tennis has proved to be something of a lifesaver – physically no doubt, but more especially, psychologically – supremely companionable ,  a time and place to be treasured. We are lucky to have in  Kate McCormack,  the lynch–pin of the operation, a facilitator of the best kind. Many, many thanks to all concerned in the running and , I hope , the prospering  of the Cambrian Centre.   GD

Through the Table Tennis group firm friendships are forged- the value of this table tennis group cannot be over praised in my opinion. To me it is priceless. Any support of it would be immensely appreciated by every member of the group I am sure. M

Thank you for your efforts for this class (Cambrian Drawing Group). It is my absolute lifeline. Beyond anything else it is Claire’s class that keeps my head above water. MT

My belief in the value and impact of the Centre are not just “kind words” but something I feel very strongly about. The Centre’s work and positive effect on the local community is something that, in my view, must not be allowed to wither or die. I am encouraged that you and the Trustees continue to look forward and are ambitious in your plans. More power to your elbow!

The exercise that table tennis gives is just the right level for me- as long as I choose my partner carefully. Practicing hand-eye coordination is a good challenge to give myself each week. The fun and laughter that fills the room is really uplifting. It’s a laugh I don’t get on any other day. P

I cannot tell you just how much I appreciate everything you’ve done and are doing. Your help and support means a huge amount.

Coming here is a Godsend. I feel so comfortable and so relieved. It’s so nice to socialise with other people. When I leave the Centre I feel I am able to carry on with my life. J

Testimonials for the Gym

We are both elderly with various physical challenges.  We never feel out of place or embarrassed – but helped and supported in a friendly environment where we have been encouraged to gain confidence and to get fitter and stronger AND WE ARE!  Tuesday mornings are always enjoyable – although challenging at times!  But with the clever and kindly support of Sarah and others we can walk further. Our balance is better and we leave with more energy! Of course we go straight to the coffee shop afterwards – this is our reward!  Thank you all so very much – the Gym is a great resource and we are truly grateful for its existence! JI & SB 

I have been attending the Gym for just over 2 years, and was recommended it by my friend Becky Peacock. I was lucky enough to get a doctor’s referral so enjoyed a period of reduced fees. I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. I have mobility issues and wanted to come to the Gym to improve my fitness and hopefully loose a bit of weight, both of which I have achieved, my blood pressure is also now at normal levels where before is was raised. Vicki is totally amazing. So helpful and supportive and I hope I can now consider her a friend. There is no way that I would feel comfortable attending one of the more well known Gyms, here at the Cambrian Centre everyone is so friendly and I never feel self conscious or judged. I hope to continue attending for as long as the facility is there. JE

I’ve been trying to attend the gym fairly regularly recently, mainly for cardio and strength work that my GP has recommended to improve my heart health and improve my body’s resistance to nerve pain. It’s really helped and I very much value the guidance of the friendly and knowledgeable gym staff.

I appreciate the individual attention that I get and the feeling that I am benefitting from it. But perhaps most telling is that I am actually enjoying it and positively look forward to a regular slot on Mondays. There is a lack of the hassle I expect at a “normal gym” when in my limited experience there is often somebody behind you waiting with ostentatious impatience for you to finish using a piece of equipment.  There is encouragement to stretch yourself but only at your own pace and with the emphasis on doing it gradually. Finally, and most importantly, there is a sense that somebody is keeping watch to ensure you are staying safely within your limits. And doing so unobtrusively. MW 

I’m really impressed by all the gym instructors at the Cambrian Centre. You are all much more than the sum of your parts and mere job titles, you’ve really helped me to feel so much better and supported in my well-being. It feels like you are providing the best care and in a completely holistic way. I really feel coming to the Cambrian Gym is transformative. I feel very grateful for your presence in my life.  JL

The Gym greatly helped with my back, the exercises really helped me, so I will definitely give it a thumbs up.

I really can’t thank you enough for your help, kindness and humanity. Using the gym regularly again when it’s a bit quieter is something I’m slowly getting used to again and also helping my mental health. PP

I met Vicki for the first time a couple of weeks ago and have been attending both her weekly sessions whenever I can; she really is lovely and so helpful.

 I only had one session with Vicki and the rest have been with Sarah and I have to admit both girls are brilliant, helpful, kind and very supportive. DN

First of all I would like to thank you for the opportunity to join the gym. After only 5 visits, I am already beginning to see some improvement and less stiffness. Sarah is very supportive, kind and helpful and monitors my progress during each visit.

Having been referred to Cambrian Gym by a physio following an operation, I went along for my assessment and was given a gentle “programme”. I liked the fact that the gym is small and being a retired lady was delighted there wasn’t a “crop top” in sight or men watching their muscles grow in mirrors! I felt (and still feel) most at ease there. It’s never overcrowded and we go about our individual routines quietly but are happy to chat if someone wants to. The staff are lovely and very helpful and you always leave in a better frame of mind from when you arrived! HG

I first went to the Cambrian Gym to prepare for a forthcoming hip replacement and saw Vicki. I was given a personalised exercise programme, which I followed diligently and contributed to my rapid recovery to normal activity after the operation- nine months later I successfully went on a challenging mountain walking tour. Now I am a regular gym user, keen to stay fit and maintain muscle strength. Particularly during Covid restrictions, it provided a great way to enjoy social links and share experiences. It is a friendly gym, where you can exercise at your own pace and lycra is definitely not compulsory. CJ

I was recommended to the gym by the health centre in Evelyn Road, Richmond. Since joining the gym some 2 and a half years ago, (allowing for Covid disruptions) I have experienced an increase in my physical ability to improve and manage my capacity to take on regular exercise. I now attend the gym 2/3 times a week and it has become a part of my weekly routine. As a result, I now have a more active life than I previously had. It is also nice to meet people who are on a similar journey to improve and overcome whatever physical or mental problems they are suffering from. In all, the gym has been a great benefit to me and long may it continue. May I also take the opportunity to thank you and the staff who take such an interest in the people who attend and help keep the gym running in difficult times. TH 

I have been a regular user of the Cambrian Gym since about 2018, when I was experiencing a great deal of knee pain, which in turn made walking difficult and that had a knock on effect on my confidence and everyday activities. I was referred by the Physio Team at the Sheen Lane Centre. Outwardly the facilities here are not a patch on other state of the art gyms but what the Cambrian Gym lacks in size and variety, it makes up for in the knowledge, care and attitude of its highly qualified staff. During my induction with Vicki we discussed my knee pain and the now urgent but still distant need for a surgical solution. Essentially I was following a custom-made pre-hab regime prior to partial knee replacement surgery in 2019 and. when the NHS Physios gave the go ahead, I returned for supervised rehab after the operation. I am convinced that the physical and mental effect of this contributed in large part to the success of my surgery, enabling me to regain confidence, re-engage with working and social life and to lead an active life. I have continued to use the Cambrian Gym, using its facilities, support and friendly atmosphere to stay as physically and mentally fit and healthy as I can. Going to the Gym has been quite literally a lifeline both physically and mentally. this low key centre of excellence provides support, encouragement and a friendly space for people of all ages and abilities to better their physical and mental condition. It is an absolute asset to the community and anyone involved in supporting it should know that the benefits it brings are hugely greater than its apparent size. EC

I was referred originally to the gym through the NHS physio service offered locally for elderly people with deteriorating arthritis. The exercise programme, designed initially to strengthen leg muscles to combat painful knee joints soon expanded into a holistic, whole body effort, which, quite frankly, has been among the best things I’ve ever decided to take on. The effect of arthritis, whether it be hip or knee, or whatever, is to encourage a sedentary default, and visiting the gym regularly has helped me to combat this in the best possible way. Walking is still difficult, but 3 sessions in the gym per week gets the muscles working and the blood aerated and is an absolutely essential part of my routine. The Cambrian Gym is a small venue, with a capacity of half a dozen or so exercisers at any one time, but this is to its great advantage. I find that productive and friendly conversations are often instigated during a session that is very good for my emotional health. There is humour, intelligence and a productive mutual exchange of information that I cannot imagine any other establishment being able to provide. I try to go three times a week for an hour. I miss it when I can’t make it, and even if I feel a little under the weather first thing, I am always energised and positive when I leave. TS