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A physiotherapy company which grew its customer base by more than 20 per cent after diversifying during the Covid pandemic is launching an innovative new product.


Platinum Physiotherapy and Personal Training, based in Coxhoe, County Durham, managed to thrive during the pandemic by launching its popular rehabilitation and fitness classes online via video link.


Soon, customers old and new were logging on from homes from as far as Australia to keep fit, improve their flexibility and boost their mental health when lockdown meant their usual exercise classes were hit.


Now, as the New Year gets underway, the practice is about to run its 5000th video link class, which equates to more than 40,000 participants having taken part worldwide.


The team runs a fifth more classes than they did pre-pandemic, and 75 per cent of its sessions are via the video link format.


Building on that success, Platinum is now launching a new app – Platinum on the Ball ( ) containing access to a myriad of effective exercises and home programmes.


Neil Sleeman, physiotherapist and owner of Platinum, said: “It was obvious in mid-March, 2020 that the health and fitness industry was going to have to adapt to the approaching lockdowns, so we proactively researched how we could assist our current patients.


“Once we decided on the platform, especially for our flagship Swiss Ball classes which prevent lower back/neck pain, we informed our patients of the new format and on the very first day of lockdown we switched to the video link format.


“We’ve run Platinum Video Link classes every single day since and now have patients worldwide. It includes people from all parts of the United Kingdom as well as overseas locations such as the Canary Islands and Australia.”


The Platinum team identified many positives that were obvious soon into the video link journey.


Neil said: “The fact we could see and hear our patients to instruct them in the same way we had done previously was crucial.


“Another benefit was people could switch on their computer/tablet/phone and be taking part in our class in minutes, which helped parents who were home schooling and people working from home.


“We also saw they became a social lifeline for those who were shielding or who lived alone. Being able to speak to someone before/after the class led to many friendships being formed. We know many participants communicate outside of the video link classes and it makes us proud that we’ve enabled people to expand friendship circles while staying healthy and active.”


Beneficiaries of the classes included husband and wife Phil and Carol McLear, originally from Durham, who still take part in the sessions twice weekly from their home in Tenerife.


Phil said: “As well as keeping ourselves fit Neil and his team have helped with post-op knee surgery and with minor injuries through individual and class sessions, including Swiss Ball.


“We’re now in our 70s and, following our decision to live part of our time in sunny Tenerife, we do the Swiss Ball classes on-line twice weekly to help maintain our fitness levels.”


Another advocate of the classes is Avril McGovern, who lives on a houseboat currently moored in Bradford on Avon. She has become a regular attendee after finding Platinum via social media for her back problem.


Said Avril: “Neil and the team have gone out of their way to adapt my rehab programme to suit the limitations of space I contend with on my narrowboat.

“It’s been so easy to connect with them over video link despite living off grid and being quite remote. It has made the world of difference to be able to access their expertise and help me on the road to recovery.”


Neil added: “As we approach our 5000th video link class, we agree with our participants that, although the Covid pandemic was a tragic chapter in history, some positives did come from it with this being a clear example.


“In many classes the participants are predominately located outside of County Durham, and knowing we have brought the world closer is something we are immensely proud of. We’ve truly become a global industry in the space of three years and only have plans to continue along this journey indefinitely to help as many people as possible for the long term.”


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