Apex Gym, the passion project of small business owner Amelia Lawes, has received much needed digital strength training from Steven Bartlett and the Vodafone Business V-Hub.
As soon as you step through the door, it quickly becomes clear that Apex Gym in Bishops Stortford is different from other gyms. It’s not aimed at the usual hypercompetitive gym crowd, posing in front of mirrors. Indeed, there are no mirrors at all, with Apex’s welcoming atmosphere attracting customers usually put off or intimidated by gyms, from people with special educational needs to those with confidence issues.
It all stems from the experiences of Amelia Lawes, the founder of Apex Gym. “I used to be a support worker and I took this guy with Down Syndrome to a gym, and he didn’t really like it. He didn’t feel as though he ‘fitted in’ in his words,” Amelia told Vodafone UK News.
“It was from that moment I wanted to create a place where everyone, no matter their abilities, feels welcome to train.”
This unique selling point led to a community forming around Amelia and Apex Gym, a community which proved to be a vital lifeline when Amelia had to use crowdfunding to overcome rent arrears exacerbated by the pandemic.
Even with those financial difficulties sorted, Amelia sought to prevent a repeat by contacting the Vodafone Business V-Hub team for advice on how to improve her operations. Help arrived in the form of entrepreneur and Vodafone Ambassador Steven Bartlett, as documented in the first episode of the Digital SOS miniseries.
“He was so easy to talk to and the knowledge that he has was incredible,” enthused Amelia.