A NEW wellbeing charity has been set up in Bury to support NHS and other key workers who have been on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wonderful Life Academy was founded by dad-of-two Neil Gowing, of Tottington Road, and provides free mental and physical wellbeing workshops to boost people's health and happiness.

After receiving registered charity status last month, Mr Gowing says the organisation is now working towards a goal of helping one million people.

He added: "Like most people, our appreciation for the whole spectrum of frontline workers has increased during the pandemic and it is our belief that this level of appreciation must become the norm with a much greater respect for the work these groups of workers do every day to ensure that we can go about our daily lives in the way that we once took for granted.

"With this in mind the primary objective of Wonderful Life Academy Charity will always be to provide free wellbeing workshops for frontline workers."

Mr Gowing created Wonderful Life Academy after leaving a career in the retail sector.

Over the years he had struggled with depression and wanted to achieve more with his life.

After meeting sport psychologist Brian McCready he embarked upon several years of training in wellbeing coaching techniques.

This eventually led him to found the academy which offers workshops designed to boost people's physical, spiritual, emotional and mental health through neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and other coaching methods.

This Is Lancashire: Fundraiser Nyla has been making tie-dye hoodies and t-shirts for the Bury charity, Wonderful Life Academy Fundraiser Nyla has been making tie-dye hoodies and t-shirts for the Bury charity, Wonderful Life Academy

Although the charity's main focus is on key workers, memberships are also available for others, and the money generated by members helps to fund free sessions for frontline staff.

Recently the charity has launched its first fundraising event ­— a walking challenge.

Dubbed the 'Don't Run Before You Can Walk Marathon', the event is encouraging individuals or teams to walk 26.2 miles while collecting sponsorship funds for the charity.

All the cash raised will go towards supporting NHS and other frontline workers

Mr Gowing said: "You can do the whole 26.2 miles yourself or walk as part of a family or group and do a little bit each.

"Everyone will be walking in their own neighbourhood or town and choosing their own route to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed.”

Over recent weeks Mr Gowing's 75 year old mum has been hand-making face masks which have so far have raised over £200 for the charity.

One of the organisation's coach's daughters, Nyla, has also been making tie-dye hoodies and t-shirts at home and selling them to boost fundraising efforts.

This Is Lancashire: Prof. Gopal Krishna Mahadev, patron of Wonderful Life Academy charity in BuryProf. Gopal Krishna Mahadev, patron of Wonderful Life Academy charity in Bury

Wonderful Life Academy has additionally welcomed Professor Gopal Krishna Mahadev, a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and global ambassador for the Desmond Tutu Foundation, as its new charity patron.

Mr Gowing said he was delighted to welcome Prof Mahadev to the position and hopes that he can help the charity reach out to more NHS staff.

For more information visit wonderfullifeacademy.com.