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26 Mar 2020
Bear Grylls' BMF mobilises army of volunteers. Also launches BMF at Home
By Tom Walker
Bear Grylls' BMF mobilises army of volunteers. Also launches BMF at Home
Bear Grylls' BMF is stepping up to support the NHS
Photo: BMF
Be Military Fit with Bear Grylls (BMF) will activate its network of ex-armed forces personnel and mobilise it in the fight against the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

The outdoor fitness operator's move is a response to the government‘s call to find 250,000 volunteers to help the under-pressure NHS.

“When we saw the call for action, we knew we were in a position to help, with a fleet of vans across the UK and passionate franchisees, staff and members willing to step up," said Jan Spaticchia, vice-chair of BMF.

"This response was driven by the franchisees themselves and we're committed to contributing to the government effort to deliver essential medicine and supplies to the most vulnerable and isolated in our communities."

According to Chris St George, chair of NM Capital, the private equity firm behind BMF, the company is particularly well placed to help in major cities, including London.

“Our 2,000-strong veteran member network has military experience and is well versed in planning, organising and delivering in a crisis," St George said.

"We also know that BMF members across the country will do wherever they can contribute to the effort."

One of the ex-military BMF franchisees answering the call to volunteer is Rob Francis.

“As soon as I read how much the NHS and other services are struggling; I knew I needed to step up and support," Francis said.

"Many of the owners and instructors in BMF are like me – ex-armed forces – and we have a deep sense of duty in our DNA.

"As an ex-para myself, I have been in the front line and right now the UK’s front line is in our hospitals. It only seems right that fit and healthy people like me should get stuck in and help with whatever assets we have.”

The volunteer mobilisation follows BMF investing heavily in a 'BMF at Home' platform, which offers a programme of live-streamed workouts to keep its membership active and safe during the lockdown.

The franchised-based BMF normally has 65 parks operating across the UK – and it has planned a rapid rollout in the UK and internationally, due to the increased interest in outdoor workouts.

In 2018, the company rebranded its business and changed its name from British Military Fitness, after partnering with celebrity TV survivalist Bear Grylls.

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