Pop Up Gym facility for people with disabilities in the North East

Collaboration between Pop Up Gym and Neural Pathways helps expand a unique gym facility for people with disabilities across the North East.

As part of their ambition to transform rehabilitation for people with neurological disabilities living in the community, Neural Pathways are breaking new ground with their sector-leading collaboration with disabilities charity, the Pop Up Gym.

Five years ago, the founder of the Pop Up Gym Drew Graham broke his neck after a shallow dive accident resulting in him becoming quadriplegic. As Drew was based in the USA at the time, he had access to state-of-the-art rehabilitation. On returning to the UK, Drew found opportunities to use similar equipment severely limited and extremely expensive and set about creating his Pop Up Gym concept.

Neural Pathways, a leading national provider of specialist neurological rehabilitation, has worked hand-in-hand to support Pop Up Gym and helped support the charity to open their first premises in January 2018, sourcing free equipment and providing physiotherapy support for members. By offering specialist gym equipment designed specifically for wheelchair users with all types of neurological conditions, the Pop Up Gym quickly reached capacity at their first premises and another idea was born.

Jill Kings, Clinical Director of Neural Pathways said ‘We could see the impact Pop Up Gym was having on people’s lives and how it fitted with our vision of creating life-changing opportunities for people to improve their independence and live well with a disability’.

As part of their growth strategy Neural Pathways have created The Neuro Hub, a unique and specialised neurological rehabilitation space on the Team Valley in Gateshead. Jill Kings explains that ‘The Neuro Hub is the first of its kind in the country. At the centre of the hub is ground breaking rehabilitation, using the latest equipment, technology and pioneering treatment techniques.’

Fundamental to Jill’s vision for The Neuro Hub is sharing skills and knowledge with other like-minded professionals to create long-lasting sustainable services for people with disabilities. Driven by their shared ambition to create something really special for people across the North East, Jill invited the Pop Up Gym team to join them in The Neuro Hub, helping the charity on the next stage of their journey.

At the end of summer 2019, Neural Pathways warmly welcomed Pop Up Gym into The Neuro Hub, tripling the floor space available, bringing access to more specialist equipment and the ability to expand its membership to more people across the North East.

The official opening of Pop Up Gyms new premises was held on 20th September 2019, five years to the day since Drew’s accident. Paralympic Gold Medallist Stephen Miller was invited as guest of honour and celebrations were captured by BBC Look North.

For BBC’s Look North coverage click here

For more information on Pop-Up Gym.

For more information about Neural Pathways.