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#DoingOurBit - from ‘passion project’ to award-winning fitness platform for the NHS


Posted on 24 Nov 21

#DoingOurBit is a platform of free workouts for NHS staff that Active IQ developed in partnership with Study Active and fibodo on behalf of NHS keyworker Julie Davis, who wanted to support her colleagues with access to free fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Julie works as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Clinical Researc Network West Midlands. An amateur powerlifter, soon-to-qualify personal trainer and strong advocate of exercise for physical and mental wellbeing, she set about sourcing free workouts to help her 180 colleagues as they struggled to cope with the physical and mental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her idea caught the eye of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS trust for its 10,000 colleagues. Suddenly Julie needed a bigger platform and professional help. She turned to Study Active - with whom she is studying her Level 3 Personal Training qualification - and they, in turn, approached us. Together we approached fibodo and we all agreed to donate our respective expertise, time and not a little energy into making Julie’s idea work.

As well as us all ‘doing our bit’, we were joined by some incredibly generous personal trainers who gave up their time to record bespoke and unique workouts for the platform. We chose them carefully and ensured they worked to exacting criteria set by Study Active and ourselves.

Quality, integrity and safety were uppermost in everyone’s minds. The Active IQ verifying team checked every minute of every session to ensure it was of the highest standard. fibodo then uploaded the workouts to the specially designed platform. We worked around the clock and just eight weeks after Julie first sought our advice, on June 15, 2020, #DoingOurBit went live.

Not ‘just another’ online workout site.

What makes #DoingOurBit stand out from the crowd is the fact it’s bespoke to the NHS and every workout carries a personalised thank you message from the personal trainers. It’s very much aimed at getting people started and into exercise and fitness with plenty for beginners. From yoga, Pilates and dance fitness to seated fitness, low and high impact sessions, relaxation and family fun - there’s something for everyone. We launched with 27 personal trainers and 40 workouts, but as the platform and awareness have grown, so too has the number of personal trainers and variety of sessions with new content coming on board each month.

Winning hearts, minds - and awards!

#DoingOurBit is going from strength to strength and has been recognised and shortlisted as a finalist in no fewer than four separate awards.

So far, Julie and #DoingOurBit have won two of these.

  • ukactive - Developing and Supporting Communities During COVID-19 – Special Award given to Julie Davis
  • Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) Awards - Bevan Brittan Award for Wellbeing

We are awaiting the outcome of the:

  • Community Fitness Awards – Community Impact Project - (November 12th)
  • National Fitness Awards – Community Involvement - (November 26th)

Not stopping there

#DoingOurBit answered a genuine need at a time of crisis. While the NHS community held the front line of defence against COVID-19, #DoingOurBit had their back. This genuine and heartfelt gift to the hard-working NHS community has so far been taken up by 107 NHS trusts with a reach of 600,000 staff. It’s still growing.

Our ultimate goal is to make the NHS more self-sufficient in terms of managing its own physical activity alongside the #DoingOurBit platform: we are exploring the use of NHS employees to extend the team by acting as #DOB Champions, ensuring they are trained to a high level to deliver sessions.

The #DoingOurBit team has come a long way since Julie’s ‘bright idea’ in April 2020 but she, and we, won’t rest until EVERY NHS trust has signed up and EVERY NHS worker has access to #DoingOurBit.

To find more out the DoingOurBit partners please click on the links below.