We spoke to Vision Personal Training about their partnership with beyondblue, and how the passion of two CEOs for holistic health gives their partnership real meaning.
Ever thought going to the gym was just about pumping weights or running on a treadmill? So did beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman, until she started visiting Vision Personal Training. Both organisations are in the business of helping people, and this shared mission sparked the idea of a partnership.
“My experience at Vision is very different to what I anticipated,” Georgie said. “I just thought I would be coming here and pumping weights and running, but I’ve actually made friends. It’s not just about physical activity, it’s about the human connectedness.”
After 20 years working in the fitness industry, Andrew Simmons was actively looking to give something back through a charity collaboration that would mirror his passion for helping people take a holistic approach to wellbeing. Georgie knew first-hand that Vision’s staff believe in nurturing more than just your physical health, and so in 2016, a partnership was born.
The first steps to setting up a partnership
Being a franchise business, Andrew reached out to almost 60 franchisee locations across Australia and New Zealand to find out what people care about when it comes to having a social impact. The suggestion to back the work of beyondblue in tackling mental health challenges was met with an overwhelmingly positive response.
The partners set plans for a long term collaboration from the outset. They established a fundraising goal of AU$1,000,000 along with a campaign to get staff moving, raising money for beyondblue’s helpline, which provides a 24/7 listening service for people who need to talk about their mental health. Last year more than 150,000 people in Australia contacted the helpline to talk through their concerns.
Executing a digital exercise fundraising experience
Vision Personal Training Studios across Australia and New Zealand joined forces in a digital exercise experience. Clients and Trainers paid an entry fee to wear red socks and complete a 5k challenge.
Studios connected virtually to compete to win the challenge. Trainers made the partnership their own by organising additional initiatives to raise money. In Melbourne, they held a special gala and individual Studios have done their bit thinking up creative ideas for fundraising.
“We‘re dedicated to building a family spirit within our community and passionate about helping people live healthy, fulfilling lives,” said Vision CEO Andrew Simmons.
“Exercise should be fun. Vision Connect was designed to connect people through physical fitness, while raising funds and awareness for an important issue that affects us all.
The next phase of an ongoing partnership
These combined efforts have funded 2,784 phone calls to mental health trained professionals via the beyondblue helpline. But raising money was only the beginning.
Andrew was keen for the partnership to take on a deeper meaning for the Vision brand and impact customers’ training experience. Vision Personal Trainers always talk with Clients about their emotions and their feelings surrounding their training journey. In fact, Vision specifically focuses on the 4 E’s: Emotions, Education, Eating and Exercise – in that order. Clients are educated that mental health is the biggest contributor to getting a good result and achieving ongoing wellbeing. Which is why there has been such a synergy between the two organisations and why the partnership with beyondblue felt so right.
In addition,their professional trainers know the signs and symptoms of someone struggling with a mental health issue. They’ve learned how you can ask how someone is really doing in an appropriate and helpful way.
While Vision staff are still running to help raise more money so that Australians can get the support they need with their mental health, every Client that steps into one of their Studios is not only helped to be fighting fit physically, but mentally too.