Latest News Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year nominee – Stuart Wood

Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year nominee – Stuart Wood

12 June 2024

Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year nominee – Stuart Wood

Stuart Wood works full-time, runs a not-for-profit community gym, coaches two junior football teams and raises thousands of pounds for charity – including a 24-hour cycle ride this weekend in aid of the Royal Stoke Hospital.

The 41-year-old, from Birches Head, set up Woody’s Back to Basics Gym in Joiners Square, Hanley, 12 years ago with his dad and a family friend.

The gym is run as a community interest company with no-one involved in running it receiving a salary and any money generated invested back into the business.

Dad-of-two Stuart, who works at JCB, used to box and would always donate his fee to charity. He has also run marathons in aid of a day care centre.

“It keeps me active and it keeps me going,” he said. “I love to see other people benefiting.

“The gym was my dad’s idea. This area is inundated with gyms and we never went into it with the intention of making money, in fact we’ve put our own money into it.

“It’s all about being a decent human being. I’m proud to be a Stokie and the goal was to help as many people as possible.”

The gym works with people of all ages and backgrounds and Stuart says he is proud to have helped people turn their lives around as well as improve their fitness.

Stuart coaches the Milton United Under-14s and Abbey Hulton Under-14s football teams.

He’ll be cycling for 24 hours at a fun day at Milton United this coming Saturday to raise money for two wards at the Royal Stoke Hospital that are treating two women connected to the football club. The fundraising total currently stands at £3,500.

Stuart has been nominated in the Charity Champion or Volunteer category of the Your Heroes awards by more than 15 people.

Laura Ditcher said: “Stu has touched the lives of more people than he’ll ever realise, undoubtedly saving lives with his encouragement, support and words.”

Kelly Dean said: “Whether it be cutting grass, coaching football, unloading a van or being a shoulder to cry on, Stuart is the man. He is always putting others first. We as a community think Stu deserves this award.”

Dawn Amison said: “He’s an amazing, caring man and deserves to be recognised for how wonderful he is.”

Ian Edwards said: “He is such a kind, caring, funny guy who is loved by all of the community.”

Marie Dykes said: “He is a credit to our community and is well respected locally. He encourages us every day to be better people even when life gets tough for yourself.”

Stuart added: “I don’t take praise well and I definitely don’t do things for praise. I wouldn’t be able to do all of this without the support of my wife, Vicky.”