After experiencing domestic violence and abuse for 20 years, Kelly turned her life around. She’s bravely gone from being constantly questioned about her whereabouts and told she was fat and useless, to co-ordinating our new Sport England programme!

In 2015, her son’s football team had no coach. Kelly was put forward for the position and, despite her turbulent home life, she stepped up for the under-14s team. She coached them for three full seasons and become an invaluable mentor to the players. Doing her coaching badge, she was the only female coach of boys in the North East for under-16s.

At the age of 18, Kelly had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and M.E., experiencing severe fatigue and pain symptoms for years. Dealing with the abuse on top of this, she was emotionally and physically drained.

“He took just about everything from me, but I still had a bit of my personality. A couple of hours to myself and I could feel it coming back, my confidence was returning.” – Kelly

The constant time limits and strict curfews from her then-husband turned into him taking her car keys so she couldn’t go to match days or football practices. The parents of the players would collect Kelly from her home under the pretence of the car being broken down, so she could still make the sessions.

Kelly became a mentor to the boys on her team and it was this that ignited her passion for helping people, to give back, and to make peoples’ lives better. The twice weekly coaching sessions gave her some freedom, as well as room to breathe and evaluate her situation.

Eventually, she found the strength to leave her abusive husband and start again. Kelly hadn’t been allowed to work whilst she was married so had no idea what a work environment would be like, but began full-time employment with us last year.

Now she’s a fantastic Family Entrepreneur of the Sport England programme!

Before exercise, Kelly was housebound. It wasn’t worth leaving her home because of the abuse she experienced when she returned.

“I was put down for being fat but couldn’t do anything about it because he wouldn’t let me leave the house.” – Kelly

Exercise gave Kelly the boost she needed to turn her life around and change it for the better. She’s gone from housebound, unemployed and unhappy, to having full-time employment, confidence and independence!

Our Fit for Life programme focuses on local people with low incomes in the communities of North Tyneside. People who aren’t as active or physically fit as they could be, but who may have barriers in their way of taking part in physical activity, can get in touch for free exercise classes and guidance.

If you currently do no exercise, are on a low income, and want to experience all the benefits our Fit for Life programme could give you, please call Kelly on 0191 643 7955 for more information about how to get involved! 😃

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