How you can support a mum's mission for accessible fitness across the North East
A North East mum who led the call for accessible fitness sessions and projects across the region is looking forward to big things in 2022.
After a successful 12 months, Tara Johnson, the director of Tailored Leisure Company (TLC), is beginning the new year in an exciting place.
A winner at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility and a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year at the Best of South Tyneside Awards, Tara and TLC have been a key driving force in developing accessible projects across the region, inspired by her own experiences of living with cerebral palsy.
TLC is based in South Tyneside but covers the whole of the North East – and after a jam-packed 12 months filled with funding successes, fitness programmes and team expansions, the organisation has even more plans for the year ahead.
Tara, of Whitburn, said: "Partnership has been a key element of our growth over the last year, the amount of new project partnerships in 2021 have been truly phenomenal and have proven there is a strong demand and gap in the market for our services.
“This time last year was a very uncertain time for the company, but our determination and commitment to the accessible fitness formula has paid off substantially. 2021 was just the tip of the iceberg for the company and we have so many exciting projects and developments in the pipeline, we really can't wait to announce these shortly and see the social impact created.”
TLC is committed to developing accessible opportunities to get fit, have fun and relax with as little stress as possible and has passion for overcoming the barriers and social exclusion faced by disabled people.
In 2021, Tara faced her biggest challenge yet – to stand for the first time in more than 20 years – to highlight her cause and raise money for the development of an innovative and accessible short break holiday and leisure complex, called the Butterfly of the North.
TLC and the Foundation of Light also unveiled a new partnership to deliver Get Out, Get Active (GOGA) activities in the region.
The GOGA programme supports disabled and non-disabled people to be active together.
Tara added: “Following the success of Sit to Be Fit at home which we launched via Zoom during lockdown, we are delighted to have further rolled this programme out into the community thanks to the funding secured.
“We have also expanded our team further through the kickstart scheme, plus we have several opportunities for volunteers to join the team as we roll out and grow the projects.
"As we move on an upward trajectory, we’d also be delighted to speak with local businesses who can support us on our journey and with the aim of developing the vital Butterfly of the North complex.
“Businesses can back the campaign and take advantage of our corporate sponsorship packages to help the complex take flight in 2022.
"The new complex will support so many and unlock barriers to short breaks and leisure services that families across the North East face on a daily basis, and which is needed even more than ever post Covid-19.”