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Bridge Health & Wellbeing celebrate successful first two years in business

Posted on: 29/07/2021

This week, Bridge Health & Wellbeing in Christchurch, Dorset, celebrate their second birthday. Despite everything that has happened over the past two years, this husband-and-wife team of Paul and Louise O’Connell could not be prouder of everything they have achieved.

Bournemouth FC physiotherapist, Steve Hard, opened the doors to their unique health and wellbeing centre on Bridge Street in Christchurch in July 2019. The first year was quite a rollercoaster, as they were forced to close their doors in March 2020 when COVID hit. By their first birthday, physiotherapist Paul O’Connell was back in the clinic for face-to-face appointments, with wellbeing classes running Zoom. They were hoping for a more settled second year in business, but the pandemic had other ideas.

In their second year, they have been forced to close the studio doors again for two more lockdowns. But just like their first year of business, they didn’t let obstacles defeat them.

When we look back, there have been so many highlights from the last 12 months, despite all the restrictions.” Co-founder Paul comments. “Highly experienced chiropractor Aaron Coode joined our team in March 2021. With two decades of clinical experience and a special interest in spinal rehabilitation, sport and gait-related injuries, we are delighted that our clients are in such safe hands. We were also pleased to welcome sports massage therapist Sam, enabling us to offer even more sports massage appointments. Having worked for 15+ years in the sport and leisure industry, Sam has a wide set of skills and can treat pre and post-surgery clients, help with pain management or even stress-related conditions.

Purchasing a portable massage chair allows us to offer workplace treatments, alongside our workplace DSE Assessment services. As more people return to the office over the coming months, in-workplace treatments could help employees manages their aches and pains, without having to leave the office.

Bridge Health & Wellbeing has also expanded the range of Wellbeing classes on offer this year. “Local instructor Alex Parker has started running Booty Barre classes in our wellbeing studio,” Louise says. “This upbeat class is the perfect combination of ballet, Pilates and yoga. It’s all in a cardio format yet without jumping or impact on the joints. Trainer Magda Kalfas-Gaca has also begun leading Strength & Conditioning classes with us. These small group classes have worked well for people who are coming to the end of physiotherapy and rehabilitation after injury who need to maintain and progress their training.

The year has also seen several awards highlights. “We were thrilled to be announced as runners up in the Family Business of the Year Awards in June.” Louise continues. “There are so many amazing family businesses across the South West. It was such a privilege to be listed amongst them. I was very proud to be a finalist in the Successful Women in Business Awards in December 2020. In 2021, we have already been nominated in the Southern Enterprise Awards and the Business Leader Awards. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Overall, Paul and Louise are very proud to have continued to grow their health and wellbeing business, despite the pandemic. This year, they plan to expand the timetable of wellbeing classes further. This will offer even more choice for their Wellbeing members, who benefit from discounts on additional classes and clinical treatment. They are also hoping to host more wellbeing and clinical events if restrictions allow.

Paul concludes, “We can’t thank our clients and the wider Dorset community enough for their support during the past two years. It has been quite a journey, but every time we receive positive feedback from our clients it makes all the effort worthwhile.”

Bridge Health & Wellbeing is a friendly, family-run clinic in the heart of Christchurch in Dorset, with high quality physiotherapy, sports massage, chiropractic treatment, expert Pilates, yoga and state-of-the-art gym facilities all under one roof. Whether you need help with pain or an injury, or just want to stay fit and healthy, come and join them for your journey to wellbeing.

Visit to view the Studio timetable or book your appointment today.

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