Employment and Skills

Our people are our strength

We believe that any organisation is only as strong as its workforce and we’re very proud of ours.

We have a long history of supporting good apprenticeship opportunities and our 15 apprentices this year have exceeded all expectations with 95% securing longer-term employment with us; and 100% completing their apprenticeship.

We are proud of our long-standing negative gender pay gap demonstrating the opportunities we provide for females to secure valuable work with us and we are also proud to be recognised as a Disability Confident Employer.

Development of Matt Hickey, Health and Wellbeing Manager

Matt is our Health and Wellbeing Manager and a fine example of career development with Abbeycroft.

He is responsible for multiple service delivery teams offering a range of health related programmes and services.  These include exercise on referral schemes across 7 localities, patient pathways taking patients on from health teams for continued care within frailty, respiratory and orthopaedic services, antenatal programmes, mental health support for young people and NHS health checks.

Matt’s career started after education at college when he completed a fitness apprenticeship. Developing his skills and knowledge he then became Fitness Manager and eventually Club Manager.

But then Matt saw an opportunity within Abbeycroft to join a larger organistaion, so took a somewhat step backwards to become a gym manager. However, within 1 year he managed multiple centres and within 3 years had a budget gym business plan approved by Abbeycroft’s board and was fundamental in setting up Suffolk’s first budget gym.

He then progressed to Corporate Health and Fitness manager responsible for all health and fitness services across 19 centres with a team of more than 80.

The role he is in now is a manifestation of the work undertaken over a number of years working with our health partners, and in 2021 West Suffolk Council and West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust commissioned Abbeycroft to provide what is now our Active Living exercise on referral programme across three local authorities.

His working qualifications include:

  • Fitness Instructor level 2 and 3
  • Exercise on referral level 3
  • Specialist level 4 qualification in Cancer, Pulmonary, Cardia and Respiratory Rehabilitation.
  • Level 5 Leadership and Management diploma
  • Health Coaching and behaviour Change diploma
Matt Hickey and client from Strength and Balance

Trusted Matter Expert

We are proud of Matt’s achievements and it’s fair to say he is very well respected within the sector and by our health partners.

His ability to work across multiple services and forge trusted relationships is a credit to him.

He’s also extremely popular with clients!

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