Projekt 42

Projekt42

3. Good Health and Well-Being 10. Reduced Inequalities 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

Projekt 42 is a gym which endeavours to enhance the living standard of its clients through demonstrating the positive link between improving physical fitness and mental health. The organisation strives to make exercise and fitness accessible and affordable for all through “building happy bodies and strong minds”. The work of Projekt42 can be linked to 3 out of the 17 goals;

● GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

● GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

● GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Authors

Callum Boag

Callum Boag

Gillian Bentley

Gillian Bentley

Roisin Timoney

Roisin Timoney

Alexander Rise Hoffmann

Alexander Rise Hoffmann

School

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow Caledonian University

Professor

Colquhoun Ferguson

Colquhoun Ferguson

Innovation

Projekt 42 is no typical gym. There are no intricate weight-lifting machines, exclusive memberships or pricey courses. Projekt 42 has innovated to create an inviting atmosphere and give back to the community by providing a safe space for everyone and anyone to access a healthy and happy lifestyle. While other gyms may create an exclusive or elite atmosphere, the team at Projekt 42 devised mechanisms to make classes as inexpensive as £1.50 per session. Funding themselves through grants, donations from the community and donations from other organisations. Giving back what they get from the community is crucial in sustaining their business and recruiting new members. Gym members who are passionate about Projekt 42’s dream can give monthly donations, which enables the gym to supply dozens of free memberships to those who typically consider a gym membership to be outside of their spending range. They use an income-based approach when charging for mental health services to eliminate systemic exclusion of lower-income individuals. As an independent charity organization, Projekt 42 uses their profits to give back to those who need it most and has created an active lifestyle that is accessible and fun for everyone.

Projekt 42

Inspiration

After having suffered with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for some time, Sara Kate the now founder of Projekt 42, was gifted a block of personal training and life coaching sessions. With the help of these sessions Sara made significant progress to both her mental health and physical fitness, allowing her to feel somewhat like herself again, regaining control of her life. On reflection upon her own personal benefit from these sessions, Sara recognised that there were a lot of people which were in a similar position to herself, suffering with mental health issues. Similarly to Sara, they could not have independently financed this type of support, as it can be very expensive. However, Sara recognised how others suffering from mental health would thrive and feel the benefit of a supportive network offering both physical training and life counselling.

Therefore, in April 2017 Projekt 42 was founded in Edinburgh and since then the organisation has seen significant development with both an expanding team and client-base. The organisation originally offered fitness classes from a former retail unit. Unforeseen circumstances facilitated a move to the YMCA building in Leith, northern Edinburgh. The establishment of a purpose-built hub is currently underway and with the help of several donations and a property developer, plans are becoming a reality for Projekt 42.

Overall impact

Projekt 42 is an independent charitable organisation which thrives on being able to make a positive impact on society by providing a service unique to any other gym complex. The charity aims to help people understand the connection between their mental health and physical fitness. They do this through a variety of fitness and yoga groups, guided meditation, life coaching and counselling sessions. The classes are accessible to as many people as possible, with the fitness classes having a particular impact. Projekt 42 also conducted a huge fundraiser to pay for 300 hours of counselling sessions for the people of Leith in which they are based.

The charity also adheres to Sustainability Goal 10, by actively paying special attention to the needs of all individuals. For example, offering clubs for children, seniors, trans and non-binary individuals and programmes for those suffering from cancer, which has yet to be done elsewhere in Edinburgh. This encourages social inclusion within the community, with Projekt 42 providing a ‘family base’ to all while improving the physical and mental health of their members.

This view is echoed throughout the organisation with Daisy (Youth class instructor) stating “I can’t express how different this place is from any other gym. I like being able to give something back. My big thing when I started was fitness, I want to help people. I lost lots of weight and it completely changed my life and I want to do that for other people.”

To have the impact Projekt 42 desires, they rely heavily on the support of generous companies donating their services and several volunteers to assist in the running of classes. The charity is ultimately funded by members as well as grants and donations. Any profits made go back into the organisation to benefit the community. This allows the charity to provide free classes, which are the youth club, senior fitness class, cancer rehab class and the trans fitness class. The organisation further makes their service accessible to all by allowing anyone to apply for free passes and offering discounted memberships to anyone who can prove they are on low income. Daisy further states within the interview “it’s really anyone, you can get a whole mix of people coming to classes”. Therefore, highlighting the range of people benefiting by this unique service, Projekt 42 really do ‘belong to the community’.

Business benefit

With the philanthropic stance that Projekt 42 has on their business operations, this in turn has correlated to the success that the organisation has reaped. Due to the positive contribution that the organisation has had on the area of Leith and beyond, participation from established firms has followed suit as organisations wish to partake in their sustainability practices. As Projekt 42 continuously announce their involvement with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this corresponds to further collaboration with other organisations in the area – allowing Project 42 to benefit from additional investments.

This concept coincides with number seventeen of the SDGs – “Partnerships for the Goals”. This entails of assuring that organisations utilise partnerships to achieve maximum deliverance of their sustainability efforts. In essence, this goal focuses on contributory efforts to further create a foundation of firms enacting responsible efforts, as firms will collaborate with others that complement their own ideals. Daisy mentioned that: “Part of the money that we got for the counselling was through Buccleuch properties… But all the money that was raised for that went towards our counselling services.” This demonstrates the positive impact that being a responsible organisation can have – investments have emerged from partners interested in being associated with their sustainable focus.

Furthermore, revenue streams have been created from the fees and charges applied to the services that Projekt 42 offer. Although at reduced prices as the organisation is a social enterprise, income is generated to pursue business ventures in line with their strategic goals. Thus, with the income that is created from this stream, investments can be made in accordance with providing social benefits to the community and assuring the continued growth of the firm.

Social and environmental benefit

Projekt 42 can be described as a social enterprise, which provides a safe environment for people suffering with mental health issues. The focus is centred on helping people recognise and understand the connection between mental health and physical fitness. The work of Projekt 42 can be linked to UN Sustainability Goal 3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well- being for all ages. Alongside the range of classes which Projekt 42 offer, they additionally provide counselling, life coaching and personal training. Overall, the services which Projekt 42 offer help people in leading a healthier lifestyle via targeting both their physical and mental health. An example of the successes of Projekt 42’s work would be that some of the previous users of the services, are now either employers of the organisation or volunteer their time to support the work of the gym.

Projekt 42 describe themselves as “a gym for everyone”- in order to achieve this they have specifically devised a range of courses. This can be related to UN Sustainability Goal 10 associated with equalities. They pride themselves on their packed timetable of classes, from a range of disco yoga to legs, bums and tums suitable for all abilities. Not to mention that, they cater for all ages from Friday Fitness club for 12- 16 year olds to Senior Fitness: Strength and balance. A unique aspect of Projekt 42 is that they are a child friendly gym offering a kids play area, reinforcing the idea that they are a gym for everyone.

Projekt 42 is a charity, therefore any profit made from the business goes back into the local community. Thus allowing Projekt 42 to offer free memberships, counselling and life coaching for people whom most require it, allowing it to be accessible to all regardless of their personal financial situation. Additionally, it offers extremely affordable rates in comparison with its competitor gyms throughout Edinburgh. This relates to target 10.2 - that by 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status. Furthermore, to ensure equality for all Projekt 42 are the first gym in Scotland to offer classes for trans and non-binary people.

Interview

Daisy Tulloch, Projekt42 Youth Class Instructor

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Projekt42

Projekt42

Edinburgh, Scotland, GB

Business Website: https://www.projekt42.co.uk/

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Projekt 42 is a gym which endeavours to enhance the living standard of its clients through demonstrating the positive link between improving physical fitness and mental health. The organisation strives to make exercise and fitness accessible and affordable for all through “building happy bodies and strong minds”. The work of Projekt42 can be linked to 3 out of the 17 goals;

● GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

● GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

● GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal