Jo’s Fitness Studio
Jo had a troubled start to life admitting that she was a bit of a rebel; her family struggled with money and had a period of homelessness. School wasn’t easy, but she laughs that Sports Day was the one day of the year she used to “shine like a beacon!”
Leaving school with no qualifications, she hit a low point with an accidental drug overdose at 16 which sparked problems with anxiety but getting pregnant at 18 with her son Declan was a turning point. With a new life to look after she got a job and enrolled in a local class for computer training and English and Maths.
“Finding out I was dyslexic opened up a new lease of life for me”
They diagnosed Jo as having dyslexia and with their advice she started to read everything and there was no looking back – getting a degree in early years education and a career working in nurseries.
It was during the pregnancies of her two youngest children that brought her back to the gym. Having pre-eclampsia, she was confined to bed rest and put on 7 stone.
Determined to work it off in the gym, plus wanting to be around more for her son starting secondary school, she switched careers back to her love of fitness. She started her own classes and thought ‘why not open your own studio?’ – and Jo’s Fitness was born.
“This is what I live: fitness, health, positivity, this is what I do. Helping people as much as I can.”
Jo’s experiences have led her to do things differently. Jo’s Fitness is an open door for people that might not see the gym as a safe place to go.
“If you’re an average Joe, you can go to any gym. But if you are really conscious about your body, or anxious about speaking to other people or if you have a disability then come here. You ask people that come here, they love it!
Jo came to The Growth Hub looking for funding to buy specialist bariatric equipment and support for wheelchairs users for her new studio opening in the autumn. Chatting to Growth Hub Connector Mark, she says they talked through everything from running the business more effectively to potential funding options for the equipment.
“Mark showed me things I didn’t even know existed, and he explained everything in a way that I could understand, giving me time to process what he was saying”
“I want to grow my business to allow more access to the community. The bigger the better and I can’t wait to hear from the contacts for further support.”
Jo’s passion for her business and people that need a bit of extra help is infectious and the driver to make the business successful is to help more and more people.
“This is the only body you’ve got. You need to learn to love it, regardless of how big or small you are. Yes, we do exercise in here, but that’s not what it’s all about. I want people to get out of the house, make friends and hopefully teach them to love themselves a little bit more.”