The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation has held its annual Golf Day at Benton Hall for the last three years? and every time the team have excelled and provided a first class experience to all our golfers. Nothing is too much trouble for them! No matter what the weather has thrown at them the course has always been in fantastic condition and is a credit to the greenkeepers. Well done to Mhairi and the team!

I run a golf society that has 20 players in it and we’ve played courses all over Essex this year. On June the 10th we chose Benton Hall as our venue. The whole experience from the booking to the playing the course was fantastic, Mhairi sorted everything that was asked for and kept in touch with updates throughout the whole booking experience. Food and the course was excellent, we will definitely be booking this venue again next year as part of our society. Once again, wonderful, helpful staff, great food and a fantastic course..

Danny P

For several years I had maintained a handicap no lower than 13 and no higher than 14. However I was finding it increasingly frustrating that I was inconsistent and seriously considered giving up the game. I recognised that to enjoy the game this inconsistency needed to be addressed, particularly as I approached my 70s. In May 2018 I took the decision to increase my practising during the summer and approach Lee for professional advice. We have now completed 3 hours of lessons and I have signed up for another 6 hours. At the outset I expressed my concern that by starting out with a new coach you end up more confused as you adapt to different methods. Lee recognised this concern. He looked at every aspect of my game and very quickly recognised a way forward to suit me. Lee’s strength is to simplify and improve a better strike rate in all aspects of the game. Already we have worked to achieve this with my irons; my pitching and chipping; a more consistent bunker stroke; and a straighter putting stroke. It’s early days but with a lot of practice the results are beginning to show. My gross scores are beginning to be consistently in the 80s and recently I had the pleasure of a gross 77! Going forward it is very important to me that I enjoy the game by being consistent on a regular basis. Working with Lee I believe this can achieved.

Bella M

I have been a member of Benton Hall for almost 5 years and it’s my second home. The staff and members are so friendly and welcoming; I enjoy coming to work out and have made good friends here. The variety of classes on offer is fantastic, from boxing to yoga, bootcamp to HIIT and everything in between. I particularly like the Les Mills classes; the instructors are so enthusiastic you can’t help but get the best out of your workout. The gym has everything I need and the gym team are great at suggesting new things to try and offering advice on strength training and nutrition. The swimming pool, steam room and jacuzzi facilities are such a bonus after a tough work out and I love bringing my family along for the family splash sessions at the weekend.

Angela H

I have been a member at Benton Hall for many years. When I first joined I was keen to try out some of the wide variety of classes on offer. But I was worried about trying something new and so far out of my comfort zone. The instructors were very encouraging and very supportive. I now enjoy a wide range of classes and gym workouts supported by instructors of the highest standard who continually motivate and inspire. Benton Hall has given me the confidence to try new things to achieve my goals and the opportunity to share in the social side of meeting other members over coffee in such friendly and beautiful surroundings.

Linda S

When my second child arrived at the end of October I made a promise to myself that I would work hard to be healthy and happy with my body again. Baby Billy was booked into the Crèche four days a week and in January I started easing myself into gym sessions. When the Jeans Challenge was promoted, Lisa, a member who I train with, was adamant that I had to go for it! Making healthy food choices takes forward planning and it's especially tricky when your three year old has delicious, yummy treats in the cupboard! I made a conscious effort to drink more water and if I was eating out, make sensible choices. To keep us on track, every Friday we'd go back to Lisa's house after the gym for weigh-in and measurements. Winning the Challenge has been a great motivator and sense of achievement for all the hard work over the past few weeks.

Justine D

I’m not going to lie, my time participating in the Jeans Challenge wasn’t easy! Hard work and social sacrifice is hard when you like going out. However, the Wellness Team at Benton Hall were great in constantly boosting my spirits to keep up with the training and weight loss targets I had set myself. My main workout consisted of cardiovascular workouts in order to drop weight and lower my body fat percentage. Alongside this I have been doing a lot of boxing training, which has massively helped with the weight loss. Diet was also so important as part of the Jeans Challenge. I reduced a lot of the bad carbohydrates and sugars from my diet in order to gain the results I did.The biggest encouragement was the scales. I did a weekly weigh in with the Wellness Team, which helped keep the motivation going throughout the 4 week Challenge. Seeing the hard work paying off is brilliant and such a confidence boost, making me keep coming back to the gym. Once again, I would like to thank the Benton Hall Wellness Team for their constant ongoing support and encouragement. !

Charlie B

My weight has always fluctuated since I was a teenager. I've tried lots of different diets and exercise regimes but never managed to stick past 4 months. But last September I decided it was time to make a change, there were so many reasons why - including the horrifying moment I had to ask for a seatbelt extender on a flight, not fitting into a rollercoaster and of course my health - my body was starting to ache under the weight, I was out of breath over the smallest physical task and I just felt really unhealthy. My husband and I wanted to make a change so we decided to start tackling our diet by joining a local slimming group. After losing the first 2 stone I knew I needed to start exercising. I've always loved a bit of exercise but need to be in the right mindset and make the time. I started with swimming a couple of times a week and starting the Couch to 5k programme. In the new year I decided to get serious and booked 10 PT sessions with Annabelle. She set me up with a training programme for when I was on my own and then once a week I've been doing strength training with her which has been amazing! It's been great to feel my body shape changing, and to just have that support. I've now lost 3st 12lbs, and have gone from a size 22/24 to size 16/18. I'm not quite done yet but feel like I'm in the right mindset and have the most amazing support around me to keep on going. And of course get ready for my holiday in October where I want to be brave enough to get into a bikini for the first time!

Heidi B

Working from home can sometimes be isolating, so it’s nice to go and work out in the middle of the day. Quickly though, my body began to change because of the effort I was putting in - and this motivated me to keep going and train harder. Pretty soon, going to the gym became a necessary part of my day. I used to wonder at how people could actually look forward to going to the gym and exercising, but now I have become one of those people! I don't think I would have made these changes if it was not for the friendly atmosphere and helpful people at Benton Hall. The staff have always been really happy to help me out with form, spot me on heavier weights, and teach me new exercises. Without them I probably would not have kept coming every day - and I am now so thankful that I did! I always wanted to make this change in my life, so I'm ecstatic that I finally have!

George S

I joined Benton Hall when it first opened, after my body said enough of running, cycling, swimming, canoeing, triathlons, marathons, and half marathons. The gym staff have been amazing in designing programmes for my needs. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with neurology general dystonia and the staff in the gym have been very supportive, understanding and helpful along with some of the members.

Ian S

I've been a member of Benton Hall for 12 years and thoroughly recommend it. It's well-run, the facilities are excellent and the staff are friendly and helpful. I wouldn't go anywhere else. I've spent most of that time wearing out my trainers on a treadmill, but last November I decided to try some PT sessions. I had no idea how to use weights and was concerned about maintaining bone strength as I get older. I was going way out of my comfort zone and didn't expect to enjoy myself. I was wrong. Today I'm fitter than I have ever been. I've lost over 3 stone. My body fat percentage has gone from 46% to 34%. My VO2 Max has gone from "rubbish" (I think the technical term was more polite) to "excellent". Ellis has introduced me to a huge variety of exercise options. I look forward to visiting the gym and am really happy with my progress.

Bella M

Last April I joined Slimming World. I was so embarrassed that I joined a group miles away from where I live so that I wouldn’t know anyone there. At that stage I could not get around 9 holes of golf without struggling for breath. Two things inspired me to make a change: a local four-year-old lad named Jacob who had Neuroblastoma, and a friend of mine who had recently been paralysed from the waist down in a terrorist attack. Both of them had been dealt a difficult and unfair hand in life, and here I was just playing around with my health. I needed to change. I started to walk round the block and I’m not going to lie, it was a struggle! But after just 6 weeks I lost 2 stone. Then in July I joined Benton Hall, had my induction and set up a programme, and my life changed! In April 2017 I weighed in at 21 stone. By November 2017 I weighed 16 stone! The members and staff at Benton Hall have improved my life in so many ways. I have never once felt judged or intimated walking in to the gym or anywhere within the club. All the staff, including general manager Jody, have time and interest in you as an individual. I still have more to achieve but for now I can honestly say I love my life! You’ve made me feel amazing in just six months so thank you ALL.

Mark S

It all started back in April 2016 when I looked into entering the London Marathon. I wasn't successful with my application so I thought I would look around for a suitable half marathon to compete in. I eventually found the Royal Parks Half Marathon and finally took the plunge. Completing the race in 2hr 21min (I must admit longer than I anticipated) I was extremely happy in completing it for my late mum and her charity. Now it was time to get into the gym again and formulate a new plan. Benton Hall is an amazing place to come to train and relax. The help I have received and the motivation which was given by Chelsea and James have been superb. I needed to lose some weight, and in conjunction with a decent diet and a workout program I have dropped from 18st 4 down to 16st 8. I still intend to lose more luggage as I have finally got a place in the most famous marathon of them all. Rock on for April 22nd! I look forward in working with the gym staff in helping me build towards my future goal of completing the London Marathon.

Mark S

I've never been sporty, but I knew as I was getting older I needed to start looking after myself. When I got ill it was taking me longer to bounce back, I'd started piling on weight, and none of my clothes fitted me any more...so depressing. I'd already started to make lifestyle changes, I'd given up drinking and smoking...but then my natural sweet tooth began to take over and sugar got a real grip of me. Still, exercise didn't appeal to me. I liked swimming but was scared of the gym. I thought it would be full of super fit and confident people who would stop and stare at me when I walked in as though I was totally out of place. But I needn't have worried. Chelsea helped me pick out a routine that I could do every day before work and I started to go most mornings. I began to see a difference almost straight away. My job can be stressful, but 40 minutes’ workout before I got in completely changed my mindset and I was more upbeat and energised. And no-one in the gym ever made me feel like I was out of place either! Then I read an email about the Sugar Challenge. Sugar is my enemy and I knew my diet needed a drastic overhaul. No use hitting the gym and then eating a bar of chocolate every day for lunch! So for the entire month of May, I cut it out completely. I exercised every day and I ate well. And I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel now. During the Sugar Challenge I lost 3.4kg, 4.5% body fat and increased muscle mass by 1.8kg! I love going to the gym now, and I'm almost confident enough to try a few classes too!

Jenny S

Just over 8 weeks ago I decided I needed to lose at least 7 pounds, tone up and get fitter, so I decided to call James and enquire about some Personal Training sessions. I'm so glad I did. Over the past weeks I have learned that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I have lifted weights I would never have dreamed possible, used equipment I thought was only for the “fit” people, and not found it scary at all. I have even balanced on a BOSU ball and achieved 3 sets of squats, although this took a lot of support from James as on the first set I nearly fell off! I can honestly say that I have been shown how to use every piece of equipment in the gym, and enjoyed them all, although some were tougher than others, but I have also learnt that you have to challenge yourself and push just that little bit harder. As for my goals, I managed to lose over 8 pounds in the 8 weeks, I feel fitter and to my great delight I am now only one year off my actual age with my metabolic age, despite starting at 15 years over. I enjoy the gym now, and this is down to James' help and support and giving me a can-do attitude, and of course some hard and sometimes very tough work from myself. I have now even signed up for 4 more sessions of PT with James, as I want to continue my journey and get even fitter.

Wendy C

So I made it - I ran the London Marathon! I wouldn't have been able to do it without a huge amount of help and support from Luiz at Benton Hall. When I started I knew nothing about training for a marathon, but Luiz set me 2 training programmes (one interval training, one stamina building) to complete in the gym each week as well as doing my long runs on a Saturday morning. Luiz listened to what I was finding 'easy' and what was more challenging. Although he pushed me every step of the way I never felt that I couldn’t do what I was asked of me. As my long runs started to become really difficult he amended my gym training to help me. I am now a convert - my hatred of running has disappeared and since finishing the Marathon I am missing my 3 hour runs on a Saturday morning! I couldn’t have done any of this without Luiz's help, support and advice!

Kathryn M