The newest addition to York’s sport and leisure scene, Freeklime, opened its doors last month in the hope of improving people’s mental health through climbing. Aiming to become the leading brand for novice climbers, York’s is the second Freeklime centre, with the first opening in Huddersfield in 2019.
Off to a strong start
The centre, which has had over 4,000 visitors through its doors so far, has become the new home for several groups including disability charities, specialist SEN schools (special educational needs) and several scout clubs. In addition, many businesses have partnered with Freeklime, including multinational engineering and technology company, Bosch, to provide wellbeing programmes for their staff to enhance positive mental wellbeing and productivity within the workplace.
Chris Whitehead, managing director at Freeklime said:
“In the short time that Freeklime has been open, the site is performing significantly better than what we had originally expected. There’s a huge demand for what we offer with more businesses looking to include Freeklime as part of their in-house corporate wellbeing programmes.”
Something for the whole community
A one-level indoor climbing gym, Freeklime boasts over 200+ climbing routes within 9,657 square feet of space. The climbing routes are changed weekly to offer visitors new and exciting challenges. The facility also has an accessible route path throughout for people (such as parents and carers) who wish to just watch instead of participating themselves, a dog-friendly light refreshment area for drinks and small snacks, as well as private space to host business networking and training events.
Chris, who was inspired by his Dad Rob to set up the business, is originally from Harrogate but now lives with his partner Anna in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. He explained how the business is partnering with other great businesses with a focus on improving mental health:
“We have also been fortunate enough to form some great partnerships with local people keen to host events at Freeklime. For example, on Friday 12 May, one of our members, Luke Smithson is hosting a men’s mental health climbing social evening whilst Emily Brown is in the process of setting up a climbing social for the York LGBTQIA+ community which we hope to announce more information about shortly. There is such an appetite for events like these and they will provide a much-needed social need for local adults looking to meet others as well as improving their overall health and wellbeing at the same time.”
Freeklime is also looking to collaborate with local groups to host inclusive climbing socials for neurodivergent adults, over 50s groups and business networks to name just a few. “It is a really exciting time for Freeklime, and I can’t wait to see how the brand continues to evolve over the next 12 months”, said Chris.
Freeklime York is open every day, Monday to Friday 10am-10pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am-8pm. To find out more visit, www.freeklime.co.uk