Liverpool is one inspirational city, from its heritage, music, people and its sporting background, you don’t have to look too far to find true salts of the earth.
One truly awe-inspiring project currently being run in the Kirkdale area, is Liverpool community scheme – The Inclusive Hub.
The hub not only helps children and adults of all abilities and ages keep active through the coaching sessions but is also an outlet mentally for those who may not of had the opportunity due to disabilities or behaviour problems.
We caught up with Liam Starkey and the team to discuss what the hub is all about and how people of the city can get involved to help support one of Liverpool’s treasured places.
The Inclusive Hub helps people of all abilities & ages through boxing in the city, when did the hub first begin and what inspired you?
The Hub began back in 2016 due to Liverpool Council requesting the Rotunda ABC to create inclusivity at the gym or face closure. Since then the Inclusive Hub has grown independently and separated totally from the ABC. We were inspired to grow more and more due to the results we were seeing in the children’s behaviour, education and family life. There was also a huge demand in the service we were providing for disabled children and family respite. It became quite clear that boxing and general fitness has a massive positive influence in children with disabilities.
The sessions you offer support participants who are affected with Autism, ADHD, Behaviour issues, Down Sydrome, what reaction have you received so far in the community from what you offer?
The community’s response has been amazing especially the children’s families. As we receive zero funding, we rely solely on volunteers and fundraising, so a community spirit is paramount for us. Even though great comments on social media and recommendations don’t pay the bills, they inspire us to keep moving forward and supporting the children. There is obviously a need for what we offer and the outcomes we are producing are ground-breaking in terms of improvement in key areas for the children.
How many sessions do you currently run and how can people join the sessions you offer?
We currently work every day, so we have the Inclusive Hub on the weekends (currently at Isla Gladstone), we provide one to one sessions for children and adults with disabilities, the ladies class midweek, The Summer Camp at the Rotunda College daily, outreach work with schools across Merseyside and the Probation Service (PSS). To join any session people can simply visit our website www.rotundainclusivehub.co.uk and send us an enquiry.
A lot of time and effort go into the Hub, what support have you received so far and how can others get involved in supporting?
We receive support from a couple of local businesses namely Transalpino and Marshall property group who help out where they can and without these donations, we would have closed a long time ago.
We do struggle financially so we are constantly looking for funding in any form or sponsorship. Volunteers are also our livelihood, so we work with Liverpool University for pupils to have work experience with us in different roles across our business. If anyone would like to get involved, please feel free to contact us via our website.
What you and the staff at The Inclusive Hub are currently doing is truly awe-inspiring and a credit to our city, what can we expect in the near future from the Hub?
We are currently working with other local likeminded organisations to create projects to help the people of our city… again dependent on funding.
We have created a programme targeting Autistic children pre and post Covid 19 and how our bespoke exercise sessions help them physically and mentally. The Ladies Moving Forward programme will continue which consists of local females who have been involved in domestic violence/crime progressing back into citizenship and work. Currently we have no residence so hopefully can announce a new home to house our community very soon.
Lastly, what would your advice be to anyone with disabilities or behavioural problems that feel like they haven’t got an outlet or support?
My advice would be to talk to someone…anyone, you’d be surprised how many good people there are out there. I think we’ve proven that people can enjoy exercise of any ability and this is another way of improving people’s mental health.
Show your support and help fund The Rotunda Inclusive Hub by making a donation www.gofundme.com
For further information visit www.rotundainclusivehub.co.uk