Spark Community Frequently Asked Questions...

  1. What does it mean to be a member of Spark Community?

Well, it works a little bit like a cooperative in that when you become a member, you become a decision maker and a fundraiser. This doesn't mean you have to give us lots of money or even time. Rather it means that you help decide how we can develop projects in your community which develop better physical and mental health for the people who live in it.

2. How do I become a member of Spark Community

At present, you need to have been a paying member of one of Spark Fitness' services between 25/07/2019 and the present date. Alternatively you may be a very close friend or family member who has been recommended by a member. Or, you may have worked with Spark Fitness in some capacity as an individual or business between 25/07/2019 and the present date.

3. Why do I have to be a member of Spark Fitness?

This is just a part of our initial launch. We want to make sure we get things right and don't expand too quickly; doing things this way enables us to keep the membership numbers small at first and with people we know and know us back. Once we've ironed out the creases and got things running smoothly, we'll open the membership to other communitites.

4. Do I have to live in the Prestwich area?

No. Spark Community isn't about one community. Sure, the chances are we'll start to develop projects in the Prestwich area but we hope that our mission and aims are something that can be developed in any community that has people there who want to drive things forwards and make a difference.

5. What do I do as a member?

As little or as much as you want to do. We are going to make sure that all communication, discussion and voting is possible remotely as well as in person so, not only do you not need to live in the Prestwich area but you also don't need to be 'available' at a particular time to take a full role in decision making.

However, if you do have some time that you'd like to donate, like any organisation, we have certain roles which need fulfilling and we'd love for you as a member to do that. These roles include chairperson, fundraiser, bookkeeper, social media marketer etc... We ask on our application form if there's any skills or talents you could offer so you can let us know here or contact us later.

6. What do you mean by projects?

What are projects? Well... that's the point, we don't really know yet because we want you and your community to develop these but as a start...

  1. An all inclusive running group
  2. A dog walking meet up
  3. A dog park
  4. Activities for keeping our aging community active
  5. Ideas to support physical and mental health in those who are restricted physically
  6. Delivering non-diet-culture advice and support to the younger generation
  7. Challenging our councils to Improve the built environment so it's safer to exercise outdoors (lighting, street furniture etc...)

7. I have an idea for a project, what do I do?

First of all, take a look at our constitution aims and check that your project fits with our overall mission. If it does, send an email to [email protected] outlining your project idea and how it fits with the Spark Community aims.

8. In your aims, you describe an 'evidence-based approach and away from ‘diet-culture’ and socially perpetuated myths', what do you mean by this?

Our societal approach to health has been intriniscally caught up in the idea of weighing a certain amount, losing weight and using diets to support this. However, we now have much research which shows that a weight oriented approach more often than not prevents individuals seeking support, engaging in physical activity and, worse still, is damaging to mental health.

This doesn't just impact those 'on a diet', it impacts the way in which someone is treated when they visit a health care professional because diet culture causes us to judge whether someone is healthy or not according to their size. It also impacts the way in which people are treated when they visit a gym, or want to take up a sport, or look for clothing to train in that's a larger size; it causes judgement and it causes individuals to be judged, and in turn, that prevents people trying new things, seeking support, and asking for advice. Spark Community wants to make good physical and mental health available to all, regardless of body size. We also want to remove commercial diets from discussions and advice around improving health as for 95% of the population, restrictive diets are making people less healthy, physically and mentally, not more.

If you're interested in reading more about this, anti-diet Dietician, Chrissy Harrison explains it really well here.

9. I have a question that isn't listed

We're certain we haven't answered all your questions and we'll be adding more to this list as you ask them... so please do email any questions you have to: [email protected]