Health by Science. The Story So Far…

November 24, 2017

In May 2015 two Edinburgh Napier University students and Bright Red Triangle community members set up Health by Science, a Social Enterprise based in the heart of Edinburgh, to help pay for fees whilst studying for their BSc Sports Science. During this time they were able to actively apply their learning to the general population who used their services to improve their health, body composition and performance.

They work on a spectrum from rehabilitation to high performance training, helping people to achieve things which they never thought were possible.

The chances are that you know a stroke survivor, as there are approximately 110,000 stroke-survivors that live in Scotland and there are around 12,500-15,000 new stroke-cases every year. Despite many being suitable for rehabilitation, very few have access to Exercise After Stroke services – this is the problem Health by Science are trying to address.

In June 2016 Donna McQueen got in touch with Health by Science for help getting fit, little did she know they were specialists in Exercise After Stroke. She then introduced the team to George Vickery who Stuart helped rehabilitate at St John’s hospital whilst on his final University placement. These two stroke survivors became the start of our Exercise After Stroke classes.

On recommendation from Sara of Projekt 42 the boys applied for Firstport’s Start It fund and In August 2016 they were successful. This money allowed them to update their website and invest in a videographer to track the progress of George Vickery.

The purpose of the video is to challenge social stereotypes about recovery after stroke and that exercise is beneficial for the majority of stroke survivors. The goal is to reach other stroke survivors and encourage people to seek out support to participate in Exercise After Services such as ourselves.

The team worked successfully from the Scotsman Hotel before it went into liquidation in early 2017 and were forced to look for a new premises. Fortunately they were able to set up their new home at Anytime Fitness at Canonmills where they have been trading for almost a year.

By filling the current service provision gap, Health by Science targets those with ill/vulnerable health and, in particular, stroke survivors. They are the only Physiotherapy Social Enterprise in Edinburgh, which means that their profits go towards subsidising the cost of their Stroke Survivor training for those who have been discharged from the NHS but are still amenable to rehabilitation. They now work with a wide variety of individuals including teachers, CEOs, nurses, retired surgeons, dentists, accountants, doctors, Grange Hockey Club and Scotland U18s Hockey team. It’s these Strength Coaching, Personal Training and Physiotherapy services which help to subsidise their work with the stroke survivors.

Since the initial support the team received from Firstport they have reached out to other organisations who have also helped them tremendously, including Social Investment Scotland, Big Lottery Fund, the School of Social Entrepreneurs and have recently been accepted onto the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme 2017/18.

They are now ready to work with more stroke survivors and are looking for Edinburgh Napier University students who would be interested in gaining invaluable experience of working with them. Not only will you gain hands on experience but you will also be able to take part in their CPD workshops free of charge and see just how they get great results with their clients.

For more information please contact the team via their website

Bright Red Triangle