Ability Bow gym gets financial ‘ability’ to help stroke patients

A unique therapy gymnasium has been given a surprise cash windfall to help patients recover from stroke.

The Bow Ability centre in Lond0n’s East End has been given �14,000 by primary care trust bosses for a stroke project.

The cash comes just days after the gym’s founder Victoria Kent learned that it has also secured all its funding from Tower Hamlets for the next 12 months without losing a penny—despite severe public spending cuts.

“The extra funding was totally unexpected,” said Victoria. “It means we can give rehabilitation treatment on a one-to-one basis to help 25 stroke victims this year.”

The windfall from Hackney Primary Care Trust falls on top of the �100,000 Ability Bow has been given by neighbouring Tower Hamlets.

The joint funding helps people like 66-year-old Margaret White, a retired nursery worker from Stepney who came down with a stroke while on holiday in Tenerife and had to be flown home.

Margaret recalled: “The doctors virtually gave up on me as there was no improvement for three months.

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“I couldn’t move my right arm—it just dangled. I also had to have a leg brace.

“I thought I can’t live like this and was determined to do something about it.”

Doctors at Mile End Hospital referred Margaret to Ability Bow, which is housed in a revamped church.

The hour-a-day sessions she had was just the ticket. Now she has 90 per cent use of her arm and leg back.

But Ability Bow still needs another �150,000 to keep going. Supporters are running in next week’s London Marathon to raise what missing funds are needed—just as determined to succeed as the stroke victims and others recovering from serious illness are who use the gym.