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For as long as I can remember I have suffered with depression, anxiety and stress related illness. This came to a head in 2013 and after years of struggling with doctors and counselling to combat my illness I knew an alternative medicine had to be found. So, in June 2013 I applied for a place in the 2014 Virgin London Marathon and in the October I found out I had secured a charity place.

This now meant I had to get fit, start running and join the gym. At 13+ stone and zero fitness ability I knew this wasn’t going to be easy! I first signed up to a gym in the area but immediately felt intimidated by the set up of the gym and the people who used it’s facilities so I sought out a friendlier gym and this is where I met Rich.

I was very nervous about my first induction but I needn’t have been. Rich was friendly and approachable from the first meeting and he helpfully talked though with me my needs and how the gym would benefit my training. He showed me through all of the gym equipment and set me an achievable plan that didn’t leave me feeling out of my depth.

I took to the gym quickly and over the next few months I grew to love my training and time spent in the gym. Rich was always on hand every session to guide me and answer any questions which extended beyond gym fitness. Rich was able to lend advise with my running and able to help with some of the injuries I picked up along the way. Most importantly, Rich was always full of encouragement, which gave me a real boost especially when I felt my training wasn’t on track.

By the time April had come around I was marathon fit and ready. I managed to loose 2 stone of weight and for the first time in years I felt happy. My depression had lifted and I hadn’t suffered an anxiety attack in months. I completed the marathon in a good time of 4 hours 10 minutes with no injuries picked up along the way.

9 months on from the marathon and I am now in full training for the Bolton 2015 IRONMAN series that I will be competing in this July. Never in wildest dreams would I have thought I would ever be fit enough to compete in the ultimate endurance race but I’m here and it’s happening! Unfortunately this has meant I have had to change gyms as I need a swimming pool but with Rich’s help I felt confident enough to make the switch. Luckily Rich does come across from time to time and is still on hand with advice, techniques and as always is full of encouragement and knowledge.

I know most of what I have so far achieved is due to my own determination but I can honestly say that without the support and encouragement from Rich I wouldn’t have achieved as much success. Rich has set me on the path of fitness, health and happiness and still continues to support me to this day. Unquestionably he has turned me from a depressed, unhappy and very unhealthy 30 year old into a soon to be IRONMAN. My testament proves that all we sometimes need is a helping hand to guide us. Thank you Rich.

Gym User at Tor Sports & Leisure Centre


"I have tried to take a progressive and structured approach to my use of the gym and Rich has been with me from the start. The fitness world, is an over saturated, conjecture ridden expanse with a lot of advice geared towards making money and not the best possible fitness outcomes. Therefore I greatly value Rich's advice not just because of his excellent grounding through his training in this area but also due to the fact that if I ask about a concept, he will take the time to look into my question and come back to me with recommendations, drawn through the filter of his professional experience.

For one's fitness to evolve, one has to be prepared to take ever advancing steps in the pursuit of this goal, and having the attention and informed experience of a trainer like Rich has really enabled me to feel confident in making training decisions. After all, everyone is different and the majority of information available, whether it be from books or websites refers to an average person for convenience .Therefore, exercise methodologies need to be tapered to individual needs and Rich has done this for me on many occasions. This is particularly important in my case, as I have a heart condition. Rich provides safe advice and sensible guidelines with respect to my medical history, and most importantly to me, encourages my aspirations within the realms of safe practice.

I have attended several gyms that Rich has worked at over the years and his has provided me with so much support and encouragement, it has been like having a personal trainer, without the expense!"

Gym User at Tor Sports & Leisure Centre


"I use Frome Leisure Centre as I always feel the staff are friendly and helpful in all situations. I play badminton weekly and also swim in the £1 session, which is great as it's adults only"

Christine Latham


"Excellent experience - a really good mix of classes every day. All the staff at Frome Leisure Centre are really helpful and friendly and the instructors are excellent. Great job!"

Chris Sorensen


"As a young man I was actively involved in Athletics, Rugby, Cricket and Hockey, all of which kept me physically fit.  Now, as an octogenarian, I keep fit by swimming and walking.  For Swimming I use Wells Leisure Centre, and have done so since the day it opened in 1991.  This is a facility operated by Avalon Leisure on behalf of Mendip District Council, which has deservedly earner a high reputation within the community. This can be attributed to, the variety of fitness equipment available, constantly being updated, and a pool suitable for all ages, but also, and importantly, the energy, efficiency and friendliness of all the staff.  But the success of an organisation depends on the quality of its management, and at WLC that is no exception.  Jackie knows the business from bottom to top, understands customers and staff.  If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, partake in enjoyable exercise, and meet people of a like disposition, in friendly surroundings, I commend the Leisure Centre to you. Enjoy it."

William MacKay. O.B.E


"As a loyal and regular customer of Wells Leisure Centre, I am particulary pleased with the service that the centre provides.  All staff are friendly, professional and helpful, and the range of facilities and classes that are on offer are very impressive.  Having used several other leisure centres locally, some under the management of  Avalon Leisure and others not, I always return to Wells confident that they are the best centre in so many different ways."  



“Friendly staff, great facilities. Made a big difference to my over all well being and fitness. Just what I needed; a great experience.”

Ms. C. Hawkins


“I have particular ideas about how I want my performance and the help I need, and I’ve always found the staff here work around what I want rather than imposing a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Thanks.”

Ms. J. Brown


“The staff here are fantastic. This really is a friendly, comfortable place to be. I really enjoy my programmes and it is just what I needed to help improve my health and well being, as well as my fitness! I would recommend to others.”

Ms. L Handover


Clients & Partners 

In order for the Business BTEC students at Frome College to complete their coursework they need to investigate the customer service of a local organisation.  Thank you so much for being so accommodating in allowing them to use Frome Leisure Centre.  Through yourself and your colleague talking with the students directly and letting them come into the centre to observe customer service for themselves; it really helps to put the theory into context for them.  Many of our students have an interest in sport and by encouraging them to think about the business aspects of a leisure centre it not only helps them with their coursework, but it also may also encourage them to consider the industry as a possible career option for later in life.  It is really worthwhile and valuable for the students to have that real-life perspective but it also helps me out as a teacher as I can use the leisure centre as a case study  for other classes too.  I do think we are very lucky to have the leisure centre so close by, offering such useful support and I am really looking forward to working with you more in the future.

 Rose Hiron-Grimes, Subject Leader - Enterprise Faculty, Frome College


Due to the pool at Bath University closing shortly for refurbishment, Aquae Sulis Performance Swimming Club do not have a pool in which to train from September. As you can imagine, this is a significant blow for a performance squad whose swimmers train up to 17 hours per week for regional, national and international competition. Avalon Leisure have been incredibly helpful regarding our predicament, and provided us with essential pool time with team members even coming in early in order to open up for us in the morning. We are looking forward to training twice a week at Frome Leisure Centre during the closure period and would like to thank Avalon Leisure and Frome Swimming Club for all their help and support at this challenging time.

Stephanie Millward, IPC World Champion, Multiple Paralympic medallist (London 2012) and member of ASPSC.


I am writing to thank you for allowing Frome Badminton Club to use Frome Leisure Centre for our sponsored all night badminton marathon for "Children In Need" last November. The club raised just over £2000, all of which has been donated to the charity. Your support of this event is greatly appreciated.

G. Cardnell, Club Secretary - Frome Badminton Club


"Every year the Mental Health Foundation has devoted a week to raising awareness of the varying mental health conditions. This year was focused on highlighting the effects that excessive stress and anxiety can have on us.

Here at the Elim Connect Centre we got on board the campaign by hosting a week of free feel good activities, including pamper mornings, self esteem groups, Tai Chi tasters & more. Our aim was to promote simple day to day strategies to help avoid and relieve stress. It proved to be a successful week, benefitting many of the general public.

However we couldn’t have done it without the generous support from the wider community, including Wells Leisure Centre who kindly provided a free yoga session. The session was greatly appreciated by all who attended it and from all the team at the Connect Centre we would like to say Thank You."

Hannah D'Ovidio, Elim Connect Centre


"For the past 5 years Avalon Leisure have been willing and able to offer work experience placements to pupils from Mark College. Mark College, part of Priory Education Services, is a school for young people with speech and language disorders which include dyslexia, dyspraxia and other specific learning difficulties such as Aspergers Syndrome. We also cater for many International students. Our young people gain tremendous benefits from work experience and the school considers this to be an important part of their curriculum. 

Avalon Leisure have always provided a friendly and welcoming environment for our young people and the Managers there have always been able to devise a suitable timetable of supervised learning opportunities for the individual student. The activities have been risk assessed and in depth induction training has been carried out on the first day. It is a particularly valuable placement as many of our young people are interested in sports and more practical activities and BTEC PE is a popular choice of subject. Our young people have always come away feeling happy with increased confidence in their abilities and feel that it has been a worthwhile experience.

Mark College continues to be grateful for these opportunities and appreciates the considerable time and trouble that goes into the necessary arrangements made by Avalon Leisure staff."

Debra Smith,Work Experience Co-ordinator, Mark College


"Avalon Leisure have provided fantastic support when working in partnership with the college, they have provided us with opportunities for our students to carry out work experience and allowed us to visit and observe their operational procedures. This has enabled our sports students to gain invaluable real industry experience, guidance and advice to help them better understand the leisure industry."

Julian Grundy, Sports Lecturer, Strode College


"Frome Swimming Club has its base at Frome Leisure Centre and works closely with Avalon Leisure in order to provide members from the local community with facilities to develop their swimming beyond learn to swim and school swimming lessons. In 2013 three members from Frome Swimming Club took part in the British Gas National Swimming Championships, in recent years several junior water polo players have been selected for Wales and GB and in September this year a team of 7 members swam the English Channel. We have also had success in triathlon with two members getting 2nd and 3rd place in the first Frome Triathlon and ex-coach Paul Ryman bringing home a Bronze from the World Triathlon Championships.

Without the support of the team at the leisure centre and Avalon’s management none of the achievements of the club would be possible. The club would also not succeed without members and, in a reciprocal arrangement, Avalon’s Swimscheme Director delivers talented swimmers to the club; in return the club directs children and adults who wish to swim for fitness or take part in organised swimfit or Rookie Lifeguard activities to the Leisure Centre.

This strong working relationship has been cemented with the display of a banner in the pool hall reflecting both parties’ commitment to providing a varied Aquatics programme for the people of Frome and the surrounding area."

Frome Swimming Club


"Go-Kart Party is delighted to be working in partnership with Frome Leisure Centre.  As a local business we are keen to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with other local business and services and Frome Leisure Centre has been an important partner since we began our business in September 2012.  We find the staff are always helpful and friendly and the managers have a positive attitude to trying new ideas for local children and parents.  We understand that the Centre will shortly be including our go-kart parties alongside its own children's parties in its promotional material.  This demonstrates to us that managers have the vision to see that collaborative working can benefit the Centre, the local community and a local business."

Mark Reeves, Go-Kart Party


In Jan ’11, Frome Triathlon Club reformed following an increase in the sport’s popularity in the town and surrounding area.

From the outset, we wanted to establish Frome Sports Centre as our ‘base’ particularly for our run sessions and of course, our swim training. Initially we started working with Ben Keates who at the time was the Sports Development Manager and who was very receptive and understanding to our needs as a multi-sport organisation. Trying to find lane time in what was already a busy swim timetable must have been challenging to say the least but nothing seemed too much trouble and even when there were a few ‘enquiries’ regarding our presence from the general public they were dealt with diplomatically not only by the Centre management team but also by the Life Guards/Marshalls in attendance at the time.

Those first 12-18 months couldn’t have gone better for us a Club and that was mainly due to the relationship that we formed with the guys from Avalon Leisure. The time we were allowed to coach in the pool on those Monday evenings have contributed to a reduction in swim times and improved technique for all those that attended.

During the summer of 2012, we approached Avalon Leisure with 2 requests. Firstly, we wanted to hold a series of small Swim/Run events in the winter of 2012 & 2013 for both adults and juniors. Secondly, to stage Frome’s very 1st Sprint Triathlon; the like of which the town had never seen and which was going to turn into a major project.

Again, our provisional discussions were with Ben and then when he moved on, we started working with Owen Patterson. The change was seamless and it’s fair to say, the excitement and enthusiasm shown by Owen and the Avalon management team was tangible. I knew immediately if these guys had anything to do with it, the event was going to be a success. And so it turned out......

On Sun 18th Aug, we had approximately 200 competitors start the Frome Sprint Tri 2013. The swim took part in Frome’s 6-lane 25m pool, Transition was located on the Astro Turf with the both the bike and the run leading out along Stonebridge Drive. Avalon Leisure was our Headline Sponsor and they supplied the Goody Bags and some of the prizes. Their flexibility and patience that weekend were significant and quite simply, Frome Tri Club couldn’t have done it without them.

We received much feedback after the race and a few even commented on how good the facilities and staff were on the day. Just about says it all I think.

M.Poole, Frome Tri Club, Frome


"The Blue School PE department is most grateful to Wells Leisure Centre for accomdating the regular visits of year 11 BTEC sport students to the centre in order to help them complete their assignment tasks for the Sport and Leisure Facility Operations unit.  They are always extremely helpful and informative on such occasions and provide a valuable insight into the running of such a facility.  Students go away much better informed and with a genuine working knowledge of the leisure industry, which they can apply to their work and gain good grades.  Thank you for the time taken to prepare for the visits and for facilitiating the tour which could easily be seen as too intrusive to grant permission for."

S.Holland, Head of PE, The Blue School, Wells


"We are the Millard brothers sidecar cross racing team that have membership with Avalon Leisure at Frome Leisure Centre. We use the facilities at the Centre very regularly in the off season (winter) and to keep ourselves topped up in the summer. We get fantastic support and help from everyone at Avalon Leisure to ensure we keep at our best level. We have great fitness plans designed by the team at Avalon Leisure to give us our maximum we need to perform to our level in the World and British Sidecar cross Championships. With the demands of our sport come very different roles between driver and passenger and the Avalon Leisure Team recognise this and work with us both to focus on the key areas of work between driver and passenger and we really appreciated they took the time to research our sport to see what we both needed to achieve our top level of fitness and strength. We use the gym facilities mostly whcih has always been very easy to use and well populated in the times we train but never an issue to get your training program completed and the swimming pool facilities that are at the Centre too. We certainly will be using the facilitie at Frome Leisure Centre for years to come and would hope that we can continue the great work we have achieved and have the Avalon Leisure Team working and supporting with us to the level they already have so we can carry on progressing and become stronger and eventually become the best!"

D. Millard & J.Millard, Millard Brothers World Sidecar Cross Team


"On behalf of the Mendip Mallards I would like to thank the Strode Pool team for their very friendly and professional approach to the needs of our Association and most importantly our members and we look forward to the close working relationship for the continuing for years to come."

N. Purcell, Mendip Disabled Association incorporating The Mendip Mallards.


"Since January 2010 Brookside School and Avalon Leisure have worked in partnership to deliver a range of keep fit classes at the School. The sessions have gone from strength to strength, proving immensely popular with the local community and offering a flexible and accessible facility that has encouraged many new participants to try the classes.  The spirit of mutual co-operation has made this partnership a great success. We look forward to continuing to develop the partnership for many years to come."

S. Bartlett, Children’s Centre Manager - Brookside School.


"The energy, commitment and dedication to excellent customer service, quality leisure experiences and in addition the unfailing willingness to wholeheartedly invest in their teams shown by Avalon Leisure should set an example to all those companies who are determined to be the best in their field."

J. Hastings - Insight4 Ltd.


"Since being involved in the Leisure Contract I believe we have created a strong partnership, striving towards high standards throughout all aspects of the leisure services provided. The level of expertise within the Avalon team is extensive and invaluable, they have helped maintain and continually work to improve the level of service provided to the local community. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the Avalon team for all their continuing hard work and dedication."

L. Wassell, Contracts Officer - Mendip District Council.


*Please note the testimonials on this site are based on individual submitters own experiences with Avalon Leisure and its services.