Meet MANFIT – our new Bader Grant Recipient of the Month!

We’re delighted to introduce our new Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, MANFIT. (As you will probably have noticed, the “month” is rather an arbitrary period of time as far as the BGotM initiative is concerned…!) We thought that following our previous featured Bader Grant Recipients, inspiring individuals Mari Akhurst and Kim Jaeger (who were each awarded a Lady Bader Grant), it would be interesting to introduce one our our Group Recipients. Which better than this wonderfully pro-active amputee support organisation.

We’re very grateful to Margaret Tyson, the scheme founder and evaluator who initially brought MANFIT to our attention through the Bader Grant Scheme, for this great introductory article and photographs. It’s clear that the group have a lot of fun while benefitting from all that the various fitness sessions offer.

Margaret has promised to follow this article with stories from some of the members and we very much look forward to meeting them.

MANFIT is Manchester Amputee Fitness Initiative of which the gym sessions are funded by The Douglas Bader Foundation. We also run swimming and tennis sessions which are funded by Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust and Back to Sport. The project is evolving as we discover people’s wants and needs.


The launch of MANFIT took place at the Disablement Services Centre (DSC) (now Specialised Ability Centre (SAC) Sharston) Withington Hospital, Manchester on 26th October 2006 (over 10 years ago).

The inaugural meeting was attended by patients who had shown an interest in the project, the Manchester Prosthetic User Group, DSC staff, and physiotherapists from other clinics. It was reported in the Associate Parliamentary Limb Loss Group (APLLG) newsletter.

Margaret Tyson, with the support of The Manchester Prosthetic User Group (of which she was secretary), got together with Darren Birch (English Federation for Disability Sport), and Natalie Teniola (Manchester Cultural Learning Officer, Spaces for Sports and the Arts) and designed the fitness scheme.

Peter King (Chairman of the User Group) introduced speakers including Rob Arnold (Manchester Impact Fund), Paul Kelly (who has made a remarkable recovery from an accident) and Margaret Tyson (scheme founder and evaluator). Professor Jai Kulkarni (Senior Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine) also gave a few words of support.

Our aims, activities and exercise sessions

Our inclusion criterion is that new amputees have to have been approved to attend by the Specialised Ability Centre (SAC) physiotherapists (after rehabilitation after amputation). The age limit is over 18 years of age unless accompanied by an adult. Our aim is to give the participants confidence to get/keep fit and ultimately to integrate into mainstream sports centres but they can continue attend Manfit sessions if they want to. Confidence follows on from the strength, stamina and flexibility that lead to better operation of the prosthesis. The social interaction during exercise and after, during a free lunch after the gym sessions, together with exercise induced endorphin release also gives people confidence.

The gym sessions were the first sessions to commence after the inauguration of Manfit. The gym sessions are free and take place at The Manchester College (Openshaw Campus) fitness suite on Fridays 10.30-11.30am followed by a free lunch. We are very grateful to The Douglas Bader Foundation who are funding the sessions.

Six months after the gym sessions started a weekly exclusive swimming group started at Manchester Aquatics Centre (MAC) on Mondays from 1.15 – 2.15pm in a private pool usually used by athletes.

One of the newer sessions is a weekly wheelchair and amputee tennis session which takes place at the regional tennis centre near the Etihad stadium, Manchester from 11.00-12.00 every Wednesday.

We can take part in a monthly disability cycling session which runs at Tameside circuit 1.00-12.30 on Saturdays.

For people who are interested in joining or for more information please contact:  website: or Phone Margaret Tyson on 07776 181180

Manfit Users’ Individual Stories: (These will be added as we receive them and also appear as individual posts.)

  1. Ron’s Story 
  2. Gym Trainer, Bill’s story

The Bader Grant Scheme: To find out more about the Bader Grant Scheme, please click on the link to visit the page on our Website. Clicking on the News link on the green Bader Grants banner in that section will also take you to various news stories and articles from our previous recipients.































































We can take part in a monthly disability cycling session which runs at Tameside circuit 1.00-12.30 on Saturdays.

















For people who are interested in joining or for more information please contact:  website: or Phone Margaret Tyson on 07776 181180