Gympanzees was created in 2017 to provide fully inclusive leisure facilities for 0-25 year olds with disabilities and their families.

Location: Bristol

The facilities offer accessible gym equipment, trampolines, an indoor and outdoor playground, soft play, music and sensory rooms and more on a fully accessible site, allowing visitors to try highly specialised equipment they’d otherwise struggle to access. These allow visitors to develop motor, fine motor, sensory, communication and social skills and promote normal development, all while having fun.

The group has had many stand out moments, including watching 17 children walk for the first time using the equipment and watching many families of mixed abilities able to enjoy exercise together for the first time.

Gympanzees offer pop-up facilities during school holidays, to meet the immediate needs of the community. They have had just under 4000 bookings over just 58 days with some families making a five-hour round trip to access the facilities.

The group encourage adults with disabilities to volunteer and expand their skills, which boosts long-term sustainability and inspires current beneficiaries to become future employees, reinforcing inclusivety and community at the centre of what they do.

Stephanie Wheen, CEO of Gympanzees, said:

We are absolutely delighted to be a Groundwork Community Award finalist. We feel we have the best jobs in the world, but, to get this kind of recognition of our efforts in getting the disabled community active, is really important for all of us and for raising awareness of what we are doing.