Here at Kings Hall, we pride ourselves on being an inclusive centre and like to try and do whatever we can to ensure that all community groups are made to feel safe and welcome whenever they would like to visit us.
At the beginning of March, we started working with the small East London based charity Suvai Deaf East who help to provide activity for those who are deaf or have hearing impairments across East London and Essex. We started by providing a designated swimming lane for the charity’s beneficiaries. As part of this, lifeguards and centre staff were informed and guided by the charity's staff about how best to communicate with any users. These sessions have proved to be very successful and have received great feedback from users
Following this, our work with the charity has also seen us provide gym sessions for their beneficiaries. Originally designed to take place in the Programmable Gym, the session moved into the main gym following the closure of this area. Our Fitness Instructor George then worked to make sure everyone in the group received an induction as well as tips on using machines to help them reach each of their fitness targets. These sessions have continued with a dedicated FI for five weeks and will now be extended to allow the users to continue working towards their goals. With the help of a sign language interpreter, these sessions are helping to break down barriers to entry for a group that can struggle to access gyms and leisure without support. Combined with their swimming sessions we believe this work will help more people who are deaf, or have hearing impairments, in East London access leisure spaces.