South Yorkshire physiotherapy service to help tackle loneliness in the community

Village Physio on track for expansion after cracking start

A mobile physiotherapy clinic which specialises in home visits and regular group sessions for the over 65s is on track for further expansion just months after its launch, thanks to demand from clients impacted by mobility and injury issues that have worsened as a result of the pandemic.

Based in Whiston, Rotherham, Village Physio was founded by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Animesh Sundas (Chartered Physiotherapist) and Samantha Logan (Business Director).

Animesh has worked within the NHS for many years. The duo said the move was motivated in part by the Covid-19 caused backlog in the number of people waiting to access vital physio services, and a desire to help the local elderly community to build strength and balance and increase mobility.

By offering group sessions, which currently take place at a local village hall, and with plans to expand into care homes and other community settings, they say they are also hoping to help combat loneliness by providing participants with a fun way to stay connected.

Now, just three months after its launch, Village Physio is looking to expand its services to also offer baby yoga to bring together different age groups across the wider community.

To facilitate the expansion Samantha and Animesh received funding from UKSE – a business that invests in steel areas across the UK – which was used to invest in a professional website, logo, and uniforms, as well as to increase its marketing activity.

The business also hopes to expand the area in which they offer appointments.
Animesh Sundas, of Village Physio, said: “Physiotherapy plays a vital role in the recovery of falls related injuries, muscle and joint problems, as well as the ongoing physical health of someone who suffers from a condition such as osteoporosis, or arthritis.

“Regular, timely treatment is therefore really important and so the impact of the backlogs in NHS treatment as a result of the pandemic has been very worrying for many.

“Aging and leading a sedentary lifestyle can affect people’s strength, balance and mobility making it more difficult to conduct their everyday activities and make them more likely to fall. Older adults who take part in regular physical activity such as physiotherapy can make significant improvements.

“Village Physio was set up in order to tackle these problems and reintroduce exercise and wellbeing classes to the older members of our community who may have been less active and possibly lonelier due to social distancing and lockdown.

”The classes have proved very popular to date and this is something we really want to continue to build on. We are keen to work with local care homes and deliver classes in more community spaces. Over the coming months, Sam will train as a baby yoga instructor, so we can introduce baby yoga. Eventually we would like to take on additional staff.

“Thanks to the UKSE Kickstart grant we have been able to invest in our website and marketing ready to raise awareness of these new services, and we’re very much looking forward to meeting all of the new parents and carers. We are also thankful to the LaunchPad scheme, which helped us to plan our business with support from business advisers.”

According to a study from the charity Age UK, released in October 2020 and titled “The impact of COVID-19 to date on older people’s mental and physical health”, many elderly people have reported a significant decline in their health since the pandemic began – including a reduction in mobility, worsened arthritis, and worsened symptoms of osteoporosis.

Steve Lyon, Regional Executive at UKSE said: “Village Physio offers something really unique within the local community of Whiston and its surrounding areas. Thanks to the hard work of both Animesh and Samantha the business has got off to a really great start, and their classes are already proving very popular in bringing together the local community and promoting a healthier, more active lifestyle.

“We are delighted to have helped them with funding that allowed them to launch their website, and expand their services to a wider audience, and we wish them the best of luck as they now look to recruit to keep up with the growing demand.”

UKSE also provides loan and equity finance of up to £1m to existing companies which are growing, particularly those creating jobs – for further information please contact the team on 0800 915 1188.