Sean Molino of Forces Fitness volunteered his time and kindly attended our annual Healthy Living Week here at YMCA Cardiff Housing Association. He gave an enthused session involving benefits of exercise, nutritional guidance and recommendations for better well-being. He provided vital content to help those homeless regain confidence in these areas and this information was combined with physical team challenges that inspired attendees to get active.
Within the short-term attendees all described enjoying the workshop, these sessions help alleviate the tedium of hostel life. They have all learnt something new and become more active. Long term the healthy lifestyle recommendations will help improve attendee’s health and well-being.
In order to support our residents into independent living, it is proven that meaningful use of time activities are key to sustaining accommodation. Specifically encouragement of improved health and well-being leads to happier and healthier people, a perfect preparation for when they move into their independent housing across South Wales.
All attendees gave glowing reviews of this session all stating the activity was very good! They also designated the instructor as excellent. All aspects were rated as excellent and they would take part in this activity again.
YMCA Cardiff HA is very thankful for Sean volunteering his time and expertise. He is professional, approachable, incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable. This session is a great start to a long term plan that focuses on improved health & well-being for our residents.
In June 2018 the team at Crisis took along 10 of our members to Afan Valley to attend a one-day health and wellbeing boot camp with Forces Fitness. The goal was to create an opportunity for our members to participate in activities that incorporated fitness, teamwork, nutrition and personal development. The group participated in a range of team based activities that were fun, engaging and allowed them to interact with other members who they may not have met before. This was an experience many of them had never had and they worked really well together, with the help of Sean, to really interact and get involved fully in all of the team challenges. Sean had a brilliant rapport with our members, some of whom have chaotic lives and live with complex issues. The relationship he built with them throughout the day really had a massive impact on how much they enjoyed. Some of the members hadn’t been far out of Swansea so this was also a really good opportunity for them to experience somewhere new aswell.
The day was really well planned out with the needs of the members central to the activities provided and Sean delivered some excellent learning opportunities throughout the day. There was a really good atmosphere throughout and all of our members commented, throughout the day, how much they were enjoying the experience. Providing this kind of experience to our members really supports them with their health and wellbeing, social networks and general personal development that underpins the services and opportunities that our staff here can offer, with the aim of ending homelessness for good. This day really provided members with a break from any of the negative barriers they face daily and allowed them to be themselves in an environment which was fun and supportive.
The members gave Forces Fitness excellent feedback after the day and we have had a number of requests to do this again this year. We are planning another one this summer and our members (and staff) can’t wait! We are really grateful to Sean and the Forces Fitness team for delivering such a great day and we are looking forward to returning again this year.
We looked at how we could deliver a meaningful project in a way that would keep our participants engaged with us and where they could learn new skills without even realising it. We chose Forces Fitness (which is a social enterprise) to be our partner because of the passion and commitment to Health, social equality and improving life chances that the organisation showed.
With this in mind I contacted Sean from Forces Fitness regarding a group of young, vulnerable, unemployed people that I was working with. Whilst this group on an individual level were engaging with our services it tended to be on an ad-hoc basis where they may or may not turn up to an appointment. I was keen to alter this mind set and help them to grow and develop team working skills which are key to them being able to successfully gain and sustain meaningful employment, whilst also increasing confidence in their own abilities.
Sean and I discussed how best we could achieve this, we knew from experience that if we put on a 3 or 4 day course we would not be able to guarantee that everyone would attend each day and be on time.
With this in mind Sean suggested that rather than the group go to the workshop we take the workshop and the group to a venue set in the Afan Valley that was inspiring, calm and away from their everyday reality. After carefully considering the needs of the client group and any risks it was decided that this approach could actually work, and we devised a 3 day 2 night stay Employment Boot-camp.
The programme was developed in such a way that it was aimed at being fun whilst being informative and motivational, and provided ten young unemployed participants the opportunity to participate in accredited training and Healthy living activities.
As many of the group had never met each other we held a welcome session where the participants could meet and get to know each other in order for them to feel more confident. Sean explained to them about the workshop and the venue what was expected of them and what they needed to bring with them.
Set in the Afan Valley Park the group soon got to working as a team to overcome a number of challenges set out by Vale Homes and Forces Fitness. The challenges were aimed at increasing the participants self-confidence in their ability to be able to work both as part of a team and independently.
During their time at the Boot Camp they worked on and produced their own bespoke CV’s, learnt interview skills and took part in a “Dragons Den” workshop where they had to sell a product to judges.
Combined with the accredited training the group also learnt about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and took part in outdoor activities which included “trekking” 6.2 miles up to the wind turbines and completing training at “Airsoft “ in Bridgend. Here the group needed to develop team skills to win the day.
For some this was the first time that they had spent any time outside of Barry in the countryside…For one individual this was the first time that she had actually seen and touched a horse – she had only ever seen them on television. As you can expect this was an emotional time for her.
Moving forward the group have devised their own Watts App group and have completed additional training around interview techniques where we held mock interviews to further build confidence in their ability to stay calm and focused in probably what is the hardest element of getting the job…the actual interview!!.
As of today 6 members of the group have been successful in gaining and maintaining fulltime paid employment and 4 have completed work experience via the Local Authority with 2 of them being offered relief shifts in various departments until permanent posts become available.
All of the participants reported that their confidence and well-being has increased and that they feel that they actually have life choices compared to how they felt about themselves before the Boot-Camp.
It has been my pleasure to spend time with this group of young people – each having their own unique personal experiences of how they have had to deal with and overcome adversity in many areas of their young lives. It has been a privilege for me to see how far each person has grown and developed in such a short time and I am so proud of them.
I have no hesitation in recommending Forces Fitness as the way the team engage, encourage and deliver bespoke workshops is inspirational, and look forward to working with them this year for the benefits of both our tenants and the Community as a whole.
Sean, I couldn't speak highly enough of the benefits of the Forces Fitness Employability Bootcamp programme delivered by you and your team.
After recently being involved in this programme with our tenants from Bron Afon Community Housing, I have seen first hand the rewards and life changing impacts it has made on the participants.
All of our tenants that took part have progressed onto positive outcomes that include employment, further learning/training, Increased their health & wellbeing and have sustained their progress after being tracked for 6 months post programme. From a business perspective, each tenant had reduced their rent arrears, become more involved in community activities and have become peer champions in their respective communities.
We have valued this programme so much we have invested in another programme with yourselves and look forward to replicating the results.
I've never been particularly fit and started coming to Forces Fitness after I decided to join the army at 29 years old! I was doing my own training programme with running and various gym work but needed something a bit different and a bit more motivational.
I turned up for my first session by myself and immediately felt welcome and made friends straight away. I realised that there was a good mix of people, from the unfit, to the very fit and it really didn't matter how good I was, it was the effort that I put in that made all the difference Since then I attended once or twice a week where I could and loved the fact that all the excercise is outdoors in all kinds of weather! There are lots of team competitions which are fun and for all levels and then there are good individual workouts depending on how much you want to put in to it. The instructors are brilliant and very experienced, always willing to offer advice and guidance for those who want to take their training further. Although the exercises are designed for civilians, I found that many of them were repeated during my army training and I felt much more prepared having attended Forces Fitness. I still go along whenever I'm on leave and love to join in and I always try to encourage my friends and family to come along too!
Workways+, an ESF funded project, offers training and paid work experience opportunities to long-term unemployed people to help gettheir lives back on track, helping participants take their first steps to re-engage or enter into the labour market., with one-to-one mentoring, support with job-seeking and interview skills, the chance to gain new qualifications and confidence building.
Workways+ invited Sean Molino from Forces Fitness to deliver a motivational, health and wellbeing workshop at their outstanding venue in the Afan Valley. He was fabulous from the word go. Our participants were encouraged to set their own goals and to move forward in pursuing them and are now in the process of doing so. Sean’s team building, inspirational and motivational skills, his honest, straightforward, from-the-heart attitude struck a chord with our participants some of whom have since found work or volunteering placements and ongoing courses are planned for 2019
The team at Forces Fitness took the lads through their paces in the build up to our game against Huddersfield. The strong man circuit work we did provided variety and intensity to our program in the lead up to the game and enabled the players to get out of their comfort zone. We have used Forces Fitness's equipment throughout the season on various occasions and have always felt the work we do is of high quality and closely related to our sport.
Aberavon RFC and Forces Fitness worked together with Warburton's to deliver an healthy living and physical activity program to junior schools in Port Talbot. Forces Fitness were excellent with the children and were professional at all times. Delivering physical activity workshops to 21 different schools with different abilities and cultures can be quite a difficult and daunting task. However, Forces Fitness embraced this and excelled. Aberavon RFC look forward to working with Forces Fitness in the future and would recommend their company to any business looking for partnership within the fitness industry, and would also advise anyone looking to increase personal fitness goals to use Forces Fitness.
We started using Forces Fitness at the start of the winter to improve all round fitness for our rowing team. During the winter we don't get out on the water very often but it was useful to have our outdoor sessions with Forces Fitness not just because of the fitness element but from a team bonding point of view. Not many of our guys like being trapped in a gym by themselves so an open air, group session was ideal and it really added an extra element to our winter training.
The sessions were varied and never boring and you got much more work done in a shorter space of time than you would just going to the gym by yourself. We've had all ages attend and everyone has enjoyed.
I joined Forces Fitness in March 2012 hoping to lose some weight and with some vague ideas about generally 'getting a bit fitter'. Since that time I have managed to lose weight, I have got a lot fitter and I have even found myself competing in a very muddy 5 mile obstacle running race! I can recommend Forces Fitness as a fun and supportive way to get fit. All of the instructors are funny, reliable and knowledgeable. Forces Fitness fosters a sense of comraderie between each of the participants and although it may look a bit daunting its not - and you start feeling the benefits of this approach very quickly. You train at your own pace and you get out what you put into it. I'm addicted!
Just wanted to drop you a quick line to thank you both for a fantastic weekend bootcamp. I have come away feeling extremely motivated with 1/2 an inch smaller waist and nearly 6000 calories burned (that's a lot of cals and more than I expected but you obviously had me working at my maximum cal burn zone to achieve that). I think it is fair to say that pure adrenalin and your encouragement got me through completing some of the tasks and giving it my all. I achieved all my objectives during the weekend and it is all thanks to you both. You are brilliant motivators with the right balance of serious/humour/knowledge & keeping things interesting. I have found this to be the key to the success of the weekly sessions and the weekend bootcamp.
I had the pleasure of working with Forces Fitness in my previous employment. They provided fun and creative activity days for secondary school pupils as part of the Active Young People programme ongoing at Llangatwg Community School. They built a great rapor with the pupils during sessions by motivating and supporting them and this reflected positively on participation numbers. As a result of the great partnership formed between the school and Forces Fitness, it was agreed the company could utilise the school facility to deliver bootcamps and community sessions during the evenings and weekends. Forces Fitness has been welcomed by the Neath Valley Community as an innovate and engaging alternative to your run of the mill activity class. The team are professional, trustworthy, reliable and can communicate effectively with a variety of audiences e.g. youth and adults.
The team at forces fitness especially Sean have done a fantastic job of getting the lads ready for our season in championship one.
As a professional side we identified our strength and conditioning as something we needed to improve this season. Forces fitness have been with us for a few month now and delivered countless tough and specific training sessions.
I've worked closely with Sean throughout to provide the side with exactly what they needed. The results have been excellent and we've have continued to use them right throughout the season after only planning an 8 week programme to start.
We have already penciled them in for our 2016 season we've been that impressed. I would recommend forces fitness to everyone.
I hired Forces Fitness last year to put me through my paces with a Boot Camp in Brecon in preparation for a charity climb up Kilimanjaro. These guys are friendly, highly organised and really know their stuff. Their activities combine fitness and the outdoors, which makes for a varied and intensive workout. I would not hesitate to recommend them and will be using them again in future.
I started training with Forces Fitness nearly 6 months ago for two reasons. 1st reason was to get fitter. 2nd reason, more importantly, i was suffereing with patella tracking, which is irregular movement of the kneecap. The pain i was experiencing was unbareable. I noticed a difference within 2 weeks, and now 6 months on i have no pain at all. I have now also developed the nessesary muscles around my knee to fully support it.
I found Forces Fitness not only benificial for my overall fitness, but it has helped change my lifestyle!
I would recommend everyone to give it a go!
A workout with Forces Fitness is not something to do lightly or without preparation.
The determination and enthusiasm from Paul encouraged the kids from SNAC (Special Needs Activity Club) to enjoy being fit and active.
Forces Fitness showed that fitness can be achieved through a variety of physical activities. It is a very active and engaging workout that develops coordination, strength, flexibility and endurance. It is also a booster for self-confidence. Kids loved the challenge is a great way to get into shape.
Comment from Richard Brandy:- "I enjoyed the fitness, I was very tired but I still wanted to carry on. I loved pulling the tyre. It was great fun"