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A North Shields-based fitness expert is enjoying a strong start to November after being named North Tyneside Business of the Month.

Fitness with Helen, launched in 2016 by fitness entrepreneur Helen Wood (50) from North Shields, was nominated to win the title of Business of the Month after 18 months of getting people up and moving through a range of accessible and enjoyable fitness programmes.

Helen runs both high and low impact group exercise sessions at the Linskill Centre in North Shields, suitable for those new to exercise through to those who are very fit. She also works with a number of clients in one-to-one personal training sessions with a focus on helping people gain confidence and get started on the road to a stronger and healthier lifestyle.

Helen hasn’t always been a lover of exercise but once she started to really appreciate the health benefits she became hooked. She started her business after taking redundancy from the NHS following 30 years of service.

Helen commented: “I actually started my business after managing a reorganisation in my former career in a HR where I ended up making my role redundant as part of a cost saving restructure. However, after 30 years of service in the NHS it felt like the time was right to move on and, surprising everyone, I decided to pursue fitness and exercise.

“I had started delivering group fitness classes for a few months on behalf of my cousin after completing my instructor courses but the redundancy just gave me the push I needed to complete my personal training qualifications and set up my business – Fitness with Helen.

“I specialise in helping people who have perhaps never exercised before or are looking to get back into a regular exercise routine. I try to be as flexible as possible in my approach and with personal training I work with people in their own home environment. It’s been a busy 18 months helping to spread the word about what I do but the business is in a very good place with a number of very regular customers and my most recent clients are two women in their 80s looking to improve their fitness levels. It just goes to show that exercise is important at any age!

“I am absolutely delighted to have been named North Tyneside Business of the Month; it means so much to be nominated by not only my clients but other business owners who I have come to know and work with through the Business Factory. I’m so glad that I followed my own instincts and set up Fitness with Helen at this time in my life.”

Karen Westgate, Project Officer at North Tyneside Council, said: “Since setting up our regular Business of the Month events we have had such a varied group of winners from several different sectors, ranging from food outlets to music shops and new start-ups to well-established businesses. Helen Wood has been a very regular attendee to our events and it came as no surprise that we received so many nominations for her popular and engaging form of fitness training. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate her on such a wonderful achievement in being named Business of the Month for November.”

Any SME in North Tyneside can nominate themselves or somebody they know to be crowned Business of the Month; simply provide a reason – ideally within 140 characters – why they think they should be selected and come along to the monthly business coffee morning held the first Friday of every month.

Nominations can be tweeted to The Business Factory using the #NTCBiz, posted on its Facebook page or emailed to

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