A letter from Scott

July 13, 2020

 

 

 

Hi everyone

 

I wanted to tell you a little about the Chapel Allerton Pilates studio... 

 

When Claire received the keys for the studio it was the first week of August and we had just under 4 weeks to transform an old, run-down office space into Claire's happy place. Within days we were inundated with volunteers, painting, scraping wallpaper, pulling nails and cleaning - lots of cleaning. It was the first time I had experienced the community that was developing around the studio. I struggled to understand why after working a full day someone would come to a dirty, small upstairs business and scrape wallpaper for a few hours. I had to be there, Claire is my wife and the business was her dream. 

 

Claire changes lives...

 

As we scraped and painted person after person told me how Claire had changed their life and I began to understand why they came back day after day. Fast forward 6 months and I had just left the job I had done for the last 25 years. I was almost 50, my career was over, it was the hardest, emotional and financially difficult time in my life. Again the Chapel Allerton Pilates community volunteered, offering therapy and counselling to help me through this difficult time. Soon I was spending two or three days a week at the studio doing admin and helping clients. This was when I learned (Claire had always told me she wanted to build "a community") what really existed at Chapel Allerton Pilates. 

 

 

 

The studio supports and heals...

 

Every day I was greeted by some of the most amazing people I had ever met. People who have overcome some of the most difficult situations that a person could face, situations that might make some give up. Their stories are incredible, inspiring and life-affirming. Spending a few hours a day at the studio allowed me to regain my positive attitude and realise anything is possible. Seeing clients move from tears of pain to smiles and laughter only reaffirms why the studio is more than a place of work, it is a community that helps, supports and heals. 

 

Expansion...

 

When we had the opportunity to expand the studio downstairs we thought hard about how this would work and how, if we did expand, how could we use it to expand our community. We created a therapy room downstairs to support those therapists in the community who need an inexpensive space that would help them grow their business in a way they may not have been able to do themselves. We are also developing an events space (which has become the waiting room area) that in the future can be used by the community to deliver workshops and events.

 

Covid-19...

 

When the Prime Minister announced we needed to close the studio, Claire's first thought was how will I help my community when they may need me the most. We quickly converted classes online, delivered equipment to those we could and teachers spent days re-writing plans for clients so they could get the most out of their home sessions. 

 

Teachers who were financially better off, offered to give up their classes to support their colleages who would lose income in the lockdown. Client's offered financial help if we needed it and others decided not to submit invoices as they understood the financial implications of shutting the studio. It has been a difficult time for us as a business, not only watching our own finances but seeing how it has affected the larger Chapel Allerton community and that of our clients. We have encouraged and supported local business when we can and have always tried to do. 

 

 

 

Studio reopening...

 

We believe it will be July at the earliest that the studio may be able to open its door to a very different type of schedule and set up. Claire is committed to providing all our clients with the best possible experience both in-studio and online and as long as clients need to remain home we will offer an online service, regardless of the studio being open to clients. 

Claire and I have seen the positive in this unusual situation and we also see the positive moving forward. We have little choice but to be optimistic and look at the silver lining of this present situation. We spend our days working with the most inspiring, beautiful and caring people we could ever wish to meet. Although we may talk to you via zoom we really look forward to seeing you in person to see you smile, laugh, cry and to correct your bad posture.

 

Thanks

Scott Sparrow

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