400 disabled get a lifeline as Ability Bow therapy gym lands £28,000 windfall
PUBLISHED: 09:05 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:21 03 December 2019
A man who wanted to end it all after being diagnosed with epilepsy is now celebrating a cash windfall for the disability therapy gym in Bow which has helped turn his life around.
Danny Currie, who also has cerebral palsy and schizophrenia, is one of 400 disability members of Ability Bow gym with long-term health conditions who can now continue their therapy after a fundraising campaign hit £28,000.
Danny campaigned with his mum and carer Sharron Currie for the online Disabled Get Fit appeal which he says has meant the gym has enabled him to get the self-confidence in his own future and to be able to get out and about.
"I don't feel stuck living downstairs in my house any more," he said. "I once wouldn't have even been able to move around upstairs with my electric wheelchair.
"I feel much more able to live confidently because of the exercise and support from the gym."
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Danny got through his depression and thoughts of ending his life after one-to-one therapy sessions at the gym which has given him his mobility.
But the therapy gym continually needs cash to keep going. The latest public appeal also includes grants from Tower Hamlets Council and Greenwich Leisure Community Foundation.
It means more exercise sessions can be held as well as allowing carers like Danny's mum Sharron to take a break and get on with everyday life at their home in Stepney Green.
Sharron said: "It's a lifeline having the support of everyone who has donated to our appeal. I wouldn't get the chance to have a break without the funds to be able to complete loose ends and get on with life if Danny didn't have the gym."
Ability Bow's online appeal which has now ended received 102 pledges from wellwishers. But it still needs continued financial support after a history of edging close to closing down in its early days more than a decade ago when public funding ran out.
The gym, housed in St Paul's Church, near Roman Road Market, is a lifeline for disabled people like Danny who get one-to-one exercise sessions with personal trainers so they can live more independent lives. It continues appealing for donations online from wellwishers.