News News The 'Muscle Monkeys' of Merchiston and Ettrick We are all coming up with innovative ways to stay healthy in lockdown, however the Ettrick and Merchiston services have gone above and beyond. Sam Smith, the Service Manager said: “It is amazing what they have created in the communal garden of both services. I’m pleased as punch with it.” She said; “It all started because my gym closed at the start of the pandemic, and Jordan who works here saw on TV how to make your own gym. “Due to the response from people supported he set himself a challenge to make a homemade outdoor gym that the people supported in both services could access. It’s been brilliant and had a real impact. All staff members in both teams helped play a role in creating the gym and have seen and described the massive difference in mental health, general health, weight loss, sleep and overall fitness of the people we support who are using it. They are all eating better too. It has really boosted morale while we’ve been in lockdown. Staff have also been using it on their breaks. “Richard, Frank and David, all people supported by Carr Gomm, put a lot of hard work into sourcing materials and physically making the gym with Jordan. Frank donated one of his punch bags, and I donated my TRX set. Sam said: “We made the gym through various bits and bobs that people had in the house. We have different weighted bottles that we hook onto wooden broom handles. This allows people supported to do bicep curls, dead lifts chest press and overhead press." Jill serves as our model. “We have a tyre pulley system that is attached to a towing rope with a handle on the end. People supported use this to pull the tyre up and down the tree. “We have TRX for all body weight exercises. We have a tyre pull that can be weighted that people walk and pull behind them forwards or backwords around traffic cones. We have a home-made tire punch bag and a regular punch bag. We have a step-up made from wooden pallets. “We are also working on a safe-javelin using potentially foam rockets We plan to make a spray paint target in the garden, and you can try and score as many points as you can. “There is truly something for everyone. People supported have now named the gym ‘Muscle Monkeys.’ It is amazing to see teamwork, ideas and innovation come together to create something positive and beneficial for those in this time. What a fantastic example of keeping busy and positive, as well as keeping fit.” If you would like to find out more about receiving support from Carr Gomm, get in touch via our online form.