MENTAL health and wellbeing have never been more relevant than during these difficult, troubled times.

As the coronavirus takes a grip on many people’s lives, there is more emphasis than ever on staying fit and active - both pastimes that will hopefully spark energy and positivity.

One business trying its best to help is Thrive Outdoor, based in Kirby-le-Soken.

From fun, family-friendly muddy assault courses and its upcoming Halloween events to birthday parties, fitness events and bootcamps, the team recently opened their very own outdoor - and therefore socially-distanced - gym, called Wild Gym.

“Thrive Outdoor is all about helping people improve their lives and fitness levels, giving them confidence, tackling isolation and getting families together to have fun,” said director Ben Eagle.

“The people are the best thing about it.

“It’s always a great place to be and I love working with my colleagues and meeting so many fantastic customers.

“During the spring, summer and autumn (it pauses during the winter months) we run a free running group called FarmRunner, which is all about getting people out into the countryside on a Saturday morning and is supported by the Farming Community Network.

“By going to FarmRunner people can meet others in their community and improve their fitness at the same time.

“We always try to help our customers in whatever way we can. In short, we’re a community of people who like to look out for each other.”

Thrive Outdoor is based at Mr Eagle’s family farm - Devereux Farm, in Walton Road.

The 30-year-old runs it alongside Andy Bareham and Stephen Mayzes, whose Amazing Activities business is based in Jessop Close, Clacton.

The trio also work with four casual staff.

“We began FarmRunner in July 2019 and our Wild Gym opened this August,” added Mr Eagle, who also runs two other businesses.

“We’ve been thrilled to have so much support and our family obstacle course sessions have been really popular, as have our birthday parties, fitness events and bootcamps.

“We can’t wait to welcome people at half-term and beyond.”

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