As a wheelchair user, Ross Morrison doesn’t fit the usual stereotype of a personal trainer (PT). But, he is a Level 3 PT at Nuffield Health’s wellbeing and fitness centre in Cheam, and an active member of our Equity Forum, which is helping to make our Charity an inclusive workplace. Here, he shares his story.

Aged 16, Ross broke his neck playing rugby, but instead of retreating from life, he went on to play international rugby for 15 years, representing Great Britain at the Paralympic Games, in Athens, London and Beijing.

He retired from competitive sport in 2016 and decided to embark on a new career. Instructability trains people with disabilities to secure employment in the fitness and leisure sector. Ross was introduced to Nuffield Health via Instructability, where he completed his Level 3 training at our Head Office in Epsom and, after completing a 12-week placement in Cheam, he was offered a full-time role.

Four years on, he still feels a thrill when a client achieves their goal. “Exercise has a positive impact on people’s lives,” he says, recalling a client who was due to have a hip operation. I helped her with exercises to build strength, which changed her body position. Two months later, the operation was cancelled - she didn’t need it!”

An inclusive workplace

In 2020, we created our Equity Forum, comprising around 100 people across the Charity, including Ross. The aim is to engage our people and to give them a platform to share their ideas, opinions, and diverse life experiences to ensure we are creating an inclusive working environment where all our people feel they belong.

As an active member of our Equity Forum, Ross says a lot of great work is going on to improve behaviour, attitude, and mindset. He’s keen for the health and fitness sector to address the wider issue of accessibility. “Disabled people want to be independent. If they can’t easily get into a building or access the facilities, it’s a barrier to them exercising,” says Ross.