Documentary Crew Highlights West Wood Club’s Efforts to Help Wounded in Ukraine

    West Wood Club in Ireland has donated fitness equipment to 15 rehabilitation clinics and hospitals around Ukraine and continues its efforts to help those wounded in the country.

    In April, the West Wood Club in Ireland hosted an international film crew producing a documentary about the company’s efforts to help wounded Ukrainians.

    Since 2023, the West Wood Club has sent fitness equipment to 15 rehabilitation clinics and hospitals around Ukraine. By the end of 2024, CEO Alan Leach expects that number will have doubled.

    West Wood Post

    West Wood Club CEO Alan Leach (left) and Managing Director Karen Polley (middle) were interviewed for a documentary to highlight the efforts of Misneach Ukraine and West Wood Clubs in sending donations to Ukraine.

    Leach has worked with Misneach Ukraine, a self-funded group in Ireland that since 2022 has sent more than €7 million in medical, dental, and gym equipment to rehabilitation facilities and hospitals in Ukraine.

    “It is always difficult trying to figure out how one can help people in a situation like this,” Leach said. “Do you give money? Do you organize a fundraiser? When I was contacted by Andy Kenny of Misneach Ukraine, the one thing Andy needed for Ukrainian rehabilitation clinics was gym equipment. And I knew that gym equipment was the one thing I could possibly donate.”

    Kenny is a former gym owner and personal trainer who co-founded Misneach Ukraine in 2022. Documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Michael "Greg" Brett heard about the efforts of Misneach Ukraine and West Wood Clubs and asked Kenny if he could document the work to show where donations of badly needed equipment go to in Ukraine, Kenny said.

    A short promotional film will be posted to social media this summer, and the documentary is expected to be completed in December. The goal is to air the documentary in Ireland, Ukraine and possibly other countries, depending on the interest of distributors and TV stations.

    Members enjoyed watching the documentary being filmed at the club, Leach said.

    “They are fully aware of what West Wood Club staff and management are doing in relation to fitting out rehabilitation clinics across Ukraine,” Leach said.

    Author avatar

    Pamela Kufahl

    Pamela Kufahl is the Health & Fitness Association's Senior Director of Communications. She is responsible for driving social media content, producing member and industry-facing resources, such as the Global Report and Health Club Consumer Report, and creating tools to help promote the industry domestically and to international media, NGOs, and policy organizations. When Pamela isn't in the office, she enjoys exercising, visiting museums, going to the theater and movies, and fostering puppies.