The Student PT

Essex Local Delivery Pilot

A student from the University of Essex has received funding from the Local Delivery Pilot to support his start up business that provides both mental and physical support to students in and around the campus.


McCartney Aldous originally from Norwich, studied at the University of Essex and during his time there, discovered that 50% of students admitted to not meeting the recommended guidelines of physical activity per week, whilst at university McCartney set out to change this. He also hoped to connect like-minded people, increasing the likelihood of creating new healthy habits and reducing social isolation. The age of his participants ranges from 18-37, from first year university students to mature post graduates.


Using his PT qualification, McCartney began by conducting research amongst students and found that some felt disconnected, anxious, and depressed during their time at university.


His research also concluded that inactive students felt that there were barriers which stopped them from taking part in physical activity. These included a lack of knowledge on what to do in the gym and having nobody to exercise with, to hold them accountable.


McCartney has used funding from the LDP to provide tailored work and nutrition plans and offers mental health support. With his PT qualification, he now helps students who have never been to the gym before, get started, showing them how to use the equipment safely. He also put some of the awarded funding towards marketing materials.


McCartney used his own personal experience when developing his business and said that; “The fact that the workouts are available from their phones, has meant that students can have 24hr access to them and can always use the app without being reliant on available session times.”


He also explained that; “The social walks and events I have organised have been a great success so far with students attending on their days off. They are getting out of their rooms and the lecture halls, meeting new people, and positively impacting their mental health.”


“At the beginning of the process my project was just an idea, The LDP funding has allowed me to develop this idea over time and have a rewarding and positive impact on my peers and those around me”


Daisy, one of McCartney’s first participants that he brought into the program stated, “My main goal was to make the gym a habit. I’d been working out on and off for a few years but was struggling with consistency. As a newbie to weightlifting, I didn’t have a training routine or knowledge of different exercises.


McCartney delivered a bespoke training plan developed to fit my lifestyle, goals, and equipment, and he also sent me video guides, showing me how to do the exercises in my training plan safely. He was always on hand to answer my questions and provide support.


I’m now confident with weights and I’m armed with an engaging routine that has helped me to meet my main goal: making the gym a habit again.”