Local gym owner and Porthcawl RNLI crew member Gareth Charnock has launched live online gym classes open to the whole community aimed at getting them fit.

Gareth who has been a member of the RNLI volunteer crew at Porthcawl since 2006 featured in the last series of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea. The popular documentary series showcases the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

Gareth owns local gym Porthcawl Health and Fitness Club and was keen to continue offering something for his members and the local community when the enforced closure of gyms was announced due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Gareth said, ‘when the news came that we had to close the gym I was devastated. The gym isn’t just a place people come to train, I see my members as one big family. I really wanted to offer them a way to continue to train together from their own homes.

‘After doing some research last weekend I found an app we could use to run live online gym classes. Initially this was just for our members but with the Government instruction on 23 March for people to stay at home and avoid gathering outdoors I’ve decided to offer the classes to the local community too. You don’t have to be a member of the gym to join the online classes. I hope in these difficult times our online classes will help prevent social isolation and help people’s health, mental health and well being.

‘Working alongside my other instructors Heather Barnett, Steve Powell and Vicky Jones we’ll be offering a few online classes a day and are very much looking forward to getting the local community fit in their own homes.’

Porthcawl Lifeboat Operations Manager Phil Missen MBE said, ‘Gareth is a great member of our volunteer crew and always keen to help others. As a station we are proud of the fundraising and support of Gareth and his gym members who regularly raise funds for us to help save lives at sea.

He genuinely cares not just for his gym members but wants to help everyone from the local area during these difficult times. I think it is really admirable that he is offering these live online training classes to the wider community. I’m undecided yet whether I’ll sign up and join in!’

If you’re interested in taking part in an online class email: info@porthcawlhealthandfitness.co.uk