Trying new things through Medway Time Credits

Shana and a group of her friends chose to spend Time Credits by participating in a special ‘Bootcamp’ class organised by PureGym Chatham for Time Credit members in Medway. It was a fast paced class which involved working with a partner to finish an exercise circuit that included a variety of equipment and movements.


For Shana, the class was a unique experience as she had never been to a gym before. Being shy, she generally doesn’t like to exercise in front of others. However, being in a group of her trusted friends helped her enjoy the class fully. She was very energised and even egged the others on to work harder!

Having devoted many years solely to home and family, Shana says she sometimes struggles with confidence. After the ‘Bootcamp’ experience, she felt a sense of achievement and expressed confidence in trying other new activities.

Shana was invited to the gym class by good friends Rabia and Shahidun, who share a common Bangladeshi heritage and culture and who often take the lead in organising outings and activities with the help of Medway Ethnic Minority Forum. Rabia and Shahidun encourage members of their community to engage with and explore opportunities available in wider society. Many public activities are not accessible to their group because of their cultural and religious observances. ‘Bootcamp’ was special because it was a small, enclosed group activity.

“Going out somewhere together is a sense of achievement for them,” explained Shahidun.  “They always want to go out as long as we are together. Time Credits is a fantastic opportunity for this.”

Rabia and Shahidun talk about what women in their community enjoy doing socially and how it transforms them – cooking and sharing food or attending parenting classes and events together. Shahidun could clearly see the effect of the Time Credits gym class on her friends.

“It really did put a smile on their faces.”

The group had earned Time Credits by giving their time in a community engagement event organised by the Involving Medway initiative. Now, Shana would like to go out more and do things to help others with Time Credits.

Rabia said, “Our ladies have different skills – sewing, knitting, cooking. They can give back to the community with Time Credits.”

They are keen to use Time Credits to start up new groups and revive some previously successful activities.