Buckingham business owner Joe Harman’s story is a triumph of dedication and hardwork to overcome his disability, serving as an inspirational story to others who are handicapped.
He opened a clinic, Breaking Barriers in Buckingham to help disabled people get fit and rehabilitated. It has been awarded with the National Aspire IntructAbility Award for providing inclusive fitness services to people with disabilities.
After a tragic accident 7 years ago where a white transit van collided at 50mph head on into his motorcycle, he was left with no use of his right arm and metal plates in his other arm. To top things off, he was in a coma and the Doctors even suggested that his mother turn off the life support machine. The extent of the injuries to his arms suggested that one had to be amputated. After intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy sessions which took up two hours every day, he got deeply into fitness.
Joe said: “I flew through my rehab, and got really into fitness as a way to escape what had happened. In the end I was running two or three marathons a week, I’d regularly run from Aylesbury to High Wycombe and think nothing of it.”
“The occupational therapist got me into fitness, and I decided to get involved with the InstructAbility course, which is fitness industry training for people with disabilities hoping to get them involved in personal training.”
“After this I got a job at the Stoke Mandeville fitness centre, where I worked for a year and a half. Then I just thought, why can’t I do this myself?”
After starting Breaking Barriers fitness centre, Joe’s venture has gone from strength to strength with two clinics now in Aston Clinton and Buckingham. They are a clinic and gym to help people with disabilities, to help people going through medical litigation caused my medical negligence.
“We want to keep expanding. We’re looking to move into Birmingham, but we already cover Buckinghamshire, London, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. We want to roll out the clinic nationwide to as many people as possible. We help people who newly acquired disabilities, injury or illness, from blood pressure to amputees, people in wheelchairs and stroke survivors. Adults newly diagnosed with autism are also welcome, we can help you get fit and better.”
“The people that work with us are amazing people, many of whom have been recognised nationally. My mission is just to get people with disabilities involved in getting fit and realise that they can. We’re here to help.”The mission statement from their website says: “Our main focus is to help with enablement and rehab after a traumatic injury, through to acquired injuries.
“We have 20+ years of experience within the industry and can work in rehab clinics, the gym or at the client’s home address.