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Looking After The Veterans

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Looking After The Veterans

Old 2nd May 2015, 14:23
  #1 (permalink)  
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Looking After The Veterans

After over 30 years military service I now work as a contractor on a UK base, doing pretty much the same job as I did in the mob. The base has decided to charge us to use the gym facilities, which, until now, was free and most of us used regularly. Clearly this was a privilege which we appreciated as it was close to work. I've now started looking at costly civvy alternates.

I don't want to start a bitching session about how things ain't what they used to be, but what is the position on other MOD bases? Do you pay or are you encouraged to use your bases facilities? Clearly not all contractors are ex-mil, so should there be a concession for veterans?

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Old 3rd May 2015, 08:25
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Many civvy employers see the benefit of having healthy employees, there seems to be a disconnect between those who count the beans (yes, public deserves value for money etc blah) and otherwise, good practice. I can see the merit of extending basic facilities foc and then up-charging for the more demanding facilities and services. But surely, a more imaginative solution could be found between this parsimonious gesture - and showing civvies they are equals and similarly valued?
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Old 3rd May 2015, 09:01
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The issue is usually one of liability and insurance and the charge is made to cover an insurance cost. After all, folk are likely to claim compensation should they incur any injury, real or imaginary, while using a Service gym. Some will not charge if the civilian user can prove adequate personal accident insurance along with a waiver not to sue the MOD. All down to our litigation obsessed society.
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Old 3rd May 2015, 09:32
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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What SG fails to mention is how much he actually pays which in his position is probably 74 per annum. Nowadays most units have excellent facilities and I think that compared with the charges made at any decent gymnasium this cost which incidentally covers your personal insurance is a good deal.
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Old 3rd May 2015, 16:50
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Without kicking off a "my Dads bigger than your Dad" p1ssing contest, may I suggest you check out Pure Gym (other brands are available).

15 a month including a nominated "second gym" in another town.
365/24/7 access (without signing out keys )
Awesome equipment selection (with a nod to my opening comment - I seriously doubt there are many service gyms that come close)
Massive selection of free classes, if that is your bag.

TBH, being forced to join a commercial gym, was actually a good thing IMO. If I was still in, I'd join one anyway and I know that both of my last two gyms (DW Fitness and aforementioned Pure Gym) are well used by a lot of local service people, so I'm not alone in my view.

Just seeking to add a little balance here.
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Old 3rd May 2015, 17:42
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Thanks for the replies. I didn't want to go into detail on how much, what type of gym, etc, FYI ours is a 3 figure sum, but find out why there has been this change in heart towards veterans. Has this been an MoD directive or is it a local fund raising effort? Maybe I should ask the CO, but I'd be interested to find out how others are being treated by their former colleagues.
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Old 3rd May 2015, 20:24
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Saul, without wishing to offend you, I don't thing civilians should be allowed to attend the gyms at MOD bases. I always understood it as a perk of being within the service, and also an actual real facility used to keep service people fit (fighting fit, fit for service life etc). Without others getting in the way, holding up others in the queue. Once your out of the mob, you should be out-think that's important point to mark out and this is one way of doing it.
That sounds terribly rude I know. I'm now a civvy, don't work for MOD or contractor so yes maybe I would say this.
Also, for vetting reasons/humanitarian reasons/all sorts of reasons you don't want crusty letching old sweaty civvies training alongside u18 trainees etc. because it makes the kids uncomfortable and probably breaks the little darlings human rights (true dit).
Ex navy using the facilities got on my nerves a bit at the tail end of my time.
I used the Nuffield gym as a civilian and it was very reasonable on cost and very good on facility.
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Old 3rd May 2015, 20:44
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At my penultimate station, there were a couple of dependants who would come in around 11 am. I swear that they must have walked to the gym (big assumption that - walking!) faster than they walked on the treadmill. Blocked 2 of them off for an hour so that they could saunter and natter on them. Hugely irritating.
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Old 4th May 2015, 07:34
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My unit does charge non-service personnel for gym membership. There are 2 rates, one for MOD Civ and one for contractors. It it pretty much the minimum they can set that covers the cost of insurance and swipe cards.
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Old 4th May 2015, 09:28
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When I retired in 2003, the base Gym was run on a shoestring, showers dirty, changing rooms terrible, equipment broken. And that was just about the largest base in the UK. So I joined a local Gym instead. Same with the flying club. Better to go commercial.
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Old 4th May 2015, 10:07
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sharpend wrote:
When I retired in 2003, the base Gym was run on a shoestring, showers dirty, changing rooms terrible, equipment broken. And that was just about the largest base in the UK. So I joined a local Gym instead. Same with the flying club. Better to go commercial.
blunty, you ungrateful old bugger, we went to a lot of effort to sort out the credits to which you were entitled when you came to the flying club to gain your PPL . But you later announced said that the aircraft we operated "Didn't interest you"......, which was fair enough. Even though the price was a fraction of what you would have paid when you chose to 'go commercial'....

How's the book doing....
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Old 6th May 2015, 07:03
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A professional lady I know, drives her 4x4 to my local gym, plonks herself on the runner, props her Sunday broadsheet on the display and then ambles for the best part of an hour.. pecking away on her phone updating her status and talking loudly to people who she calls. No one calls her. She discards the supplements on the floor and has to be called back to take her rubbish away with her. She has Rutland Water a hundred yards away, with waterside pedestrian and cycle paths and trails through woodlands in abundance and she still chooses to use gym.

Thankfully, it doesn't wind me up.
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Old 6th May 2015, 08:31
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I'm pretty sure that as a Serviceman, I had to pay to use the gym at Brize. But that was before the new one was built...
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Old 6th May 2015, 13:39
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I always understood it as a perk of being within the service, and also an actual real facility used to keep service people fit (fighting fit, fit for service life etc). Without others getting in the way, holding up others in the queue.
I agree with Hangarshuffle, at 3 of the bases in my last 12 years, the service personnel often couldn't get in the gym for all the contractors and contractors' mates hogging the kit. Same with the station outdoor pitches, service guys couldn't get a tennis court or an astroturf pitch because they were constantly in use by local civilian clubs.

Veterans should be looked after, but Military gyms aren't a retiree perk or a service to recognize veterans, they're primarily a facility to keep the serving base personnel fit. Any "add on" memberships after that shouldn't come at the expense of the guys and girls who live there, but sadly that's what often happens.
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Old 6th May 2015, 14:10
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Our local Garrison gym allows membership for CS and dependents but they have to pay (10 per month) and provide an Insurance Certificate to prove they are covered for 3rd party liability. Attendance has decreased, kit now available for the servicemen to use!
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Old 6th May 2015, 17:18
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Once you hand in your F1250 you become a 'non-person'. Compared to other Air Forces the RAF and/or UK Government are very parsimonious. For example, in Oz retired servicemen are entitled to beneficial medical care - costs virtually bugger all to the Government but shows the individual that they still appreciate service given. And as for the Yanks ......!!
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 14:52
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Once you hand in your F1250
Bit difficult in my case I had lost the thing about a year before.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 16:00
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Didn't that make going to work a bit diff, Exascot? Anyway, F1250?

BTW, what did Vegemite do?
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 17:55
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why there has been this change in heart towards veterans
In my entire service I never saw a gym that allowed 'veterans' free use. So there hasn't been a change of heart towards veterans.

A gym costs to build and maintain, particularly the equipment. I don't see why anyone not in uniform would have a belief in the entitlement of free fitness facilities. If your employer thinks you doing phys is a good thing, then perhaps they might wish to stump up some cash. It's not for the MoD to keep you fit.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 21:37
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I worked at Marham about 3 years ago and they charged a paltry sum per year for "non-service personnel" to use their Gym. Never a mention of veterans at that time and I don't think it should be a consideration. The Gym is for service personnel and for their much more intense use nowadays. Civvies, vets or not, wearing out expensive equipment is a justifiable cost. Personally, I only used the showers and changing rooms - not the gym equipment, so I didn't pay.
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