A woman’s bid to set up Dundee’s first gym for people with chronic illnesses is a step closer to fruition.
Valerie Duguid, of Broughty Ferry, who has been involved in providing exercise and support classes in the city for 20 years, has been granted a funding package from social enterprise scheme Firstport to help open the facility.
Valerie, who owns Xrcize Int, which runs classes for people with cancer, told the Tele current gym provision in Dundee is unsuitable for the therapeutic treatment she offers.
She said the facility would also be run as a community interest company — and that all profits and assets would be reinvested.
She said: “There aren’t any other facilities like this in the area and I have always had a burning desire for Dundee to have a great facility with qualified instructors.
“I work with people with a variety of conditions, including chronic back pain, terminal illnesses, mental health problems, diabetes and mobility issues, and people who have suffered strokes.
“This facility will give them free access to a space that is suitable for their treatment. Other gyms around the city are sometimes not appropriate for a lot of people who are recovering from, or living with, these conditions. It might be that it is too loud for them or there isn’t adequate space for wheelchairs.
“This facility will include a space which is specifically for that purpose – somewhere they can be comfortable.”
Valerie says she envisions the facility having a dual purpose, with a commercial gym space also included — which would help finance the free classes offered to those with chronic conditions.
Valerie was awarded an initial funding package by Firstport’s Award Programme, which helps individuals to turn their ideas into thriving social enterprises.
She says feedback she has received since being awarded the funds has been “amazing”. She is now trying to source premises for the venture, and is also open to the idea of other local people or businesses getting involved.