Andover’s innovative I Can Therapy Centre opened its doors from its new home in the heart of the town centre on 19th April to the delight of customers keen to get moving and mobile after over a year of inactivity.
“It’s great to be back!” said users of the specially adapted power assisted exercise service, many of whom have noticed a considerable deterioration in their mobility, strength and fitness since the closure of I Can due to restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Following a heated debate at the local planning committee earlier this year, Valley Leisure Ltd the independent charity that operates I Can, were awarded permission to change the use of the former Rendezvous site on Union Street to that of the specialist exercise therapy centre.
Chris Attrill, Chief Executive, Valley Leisure Ltd commented “I Can’s move into Andover is perfect for this bespoke service. Within the heart of the town centre, our customers will be able to maximise their visit by taking advantage of good public transport links, ample parking spaces and importantly TVBC’s reduced £1 for 2 hours parking fee, whilst combing their visit with their shopping needs thus increasing footfall into the town centre.”
Chris added “The move of I Can is in full support of the Andover Masterplan, designed to increase non-retail usage of units within the town centre and attract footfall and spend to support the future of the High Street.”
Ann Jones, Centre Manager, I Can Therapy Centre said “We are thrilled to have reopened our specialist exercise therapy service from its new home so we can continue to improve our community’s health and wellbeing. With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, we are able to return to what we do best – enabling people to move more and feel better.”
Ann added “We’re seeing the direct impact of the closure of community support services due to COVID-19. Our customers are less mobile, their joints are stiffer and more painful, they’re less flexible, and they are more unsteady on their feet. Some of our customers’ health has deteriorated so much that they are unable to return to exercising with us. We are able to turn the tide and help people improve their strength, fitness and balance enabling them to regain independence and improve quality of life.”
After reopening on 19th April, the team have already welcomed 140 people into the COVID secure therapy centre many of whom are self-managing one or multiple long-term health conditions including Parkinson’s, MS, stroke, arthritis, heart disease, lung disease and mental health conditions.
For further information about the ‘I Can Therapy Centre’ please contact:
About Valley Leisure: Valley Leisure Ltd is an independent charitable trust based in Andover, Hampshire. The charity’s mission is ‘move more, feel better’ with the team committed to helping people. Established over 30 years ago, the charity aims to improve people’s health and wellbeing by providing facilities and services that enable people to move more and feel better. Valley Leisure operates Riverside Bowl and the I Can Therapy Centre in Andover, Hampshire. www.valleyleisure.co.uk