Residents of Formby can relax and relieve the stresses of everyday with free Tai Chi classes set up thanks to a donation from Redrow.
Freshfield Fitness was founded by Daphne Richardson in 2017 after she left her job in accounting to start a new venture; one that would help the community be fit and active and make new friends while they’re at it.
“After qualifying as a personal trainer I took an interest in low impact exercises that go easy on our bones and joints but can still provide strength, stretch, tone and flexibility to our bodies,” said Daphne.
“I love practising and teaching Tai Chi and Qigong so I decided to set up classes for the local community. I currently charge a small fee for my classes and I wanted to be able to offer some of them for free to promote Tai Chi however it wasn’t financially viable for me. That’s why when I saw the news about Redrow’s community fund, I had to apply.”
Daphne received a cheque for £516 from Redrow that she is now using to fund free monthly classes over the coming year. The first one was held in September with the next two scheduled in for Friday, October 25 and Friday, November 22 at the Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rosemary Lane in Formby.
Daphne added: “Tai Chi combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements and it’s not only beneficial physically but it also improves mental health too. People can come to the classes, try something completely new and then go home and continue to use the exercises at home.”
With the money from Redrow, Daphne will also be able to include refreshments at the end of classes and this will provide an opportunity for members to chat and meet new people.
“One of the things I love about my job is watching new friendships form between myself and members and also members amongst themselves,” said Daphne. “People lead very interesting lives and it’s fascinating to just speak to people about it all. There is a real sense of community that’s been built through Tai Chi and other exercise classes on offer.”
Daphne, who has lived in Formby most of her life, believes it’s groups such as the Tai Chi classes that enable local Formby residents, such as the elderly who may otherwise feel isolated and lonely, to have much needed interaction.
Lesley Myers, sales manager at our Lancashire division, added: “Through the community fund, we have helped a total of 10 groups to benefit in the local community. Daphne and her free Tai Chi classes will be a real asset to Formby and they are now accessible for everyone.”
The donation is part of a £5,000 windfall for community groups or good causes in and around the Formby area, close to where Redrow is providing 99 new homes at Sanderling Park. Help has been extended to a mix of schools, sports teams, charities and community based projects all designed to help others.