Search

East Ham fitness instructor ‘pays it forward’ 20 years after favour

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 March 2016

Laurie Small, left, teaching a class

Laurie Small, left, teaching a class

Archant

When you’re down on your luck and no one’s giving you a hand, it can seem impossible to get ahead.

But sometimes a knight in shining armour appears, and that’s how many a successful business gets its start.

For East Ham’s Laurie Small, that knight was long-time friend Brian Puig – but his generosity came with an unusual condition.

“He told me, ‘Make a success of yourself, then pay it forward to someone else when you can’,” Laurie said. “And now I finally have.”

Brian’s act of kindness was 20 years ago, and with it Laurie was able to buy a fitness instruction course – the first part of her dream to run her own business.

After years of earning a second income from her new skills, Laurie celebrated starting LN Fitness Training Centre – which is based at Newham Leisure Centre in Plaistow – in February last year by paying it forward.

“There’s a woman in my class who’s confided in me about financial problems,” the mum-of-two and grandmother-of-one said. “She’s been coming to classes for aorund 10 years and she’s excellent – moves well, helps a lot – so I offered to give her a course for free.”

The beneficiary of that course is Temilola Bada, 42, a single parent with three children.

“I’m really, really grateful for this opportunity,” she said.

“I’ve been doing this kind of thing for 22 years and I feel like I could be an instructor.

“But it’s so awesome of Laurie to help me out – I hope to make this my full-time job.”

Temi explained that because she is currently not working, the course could result in her earning a much-needed income and allow her to be more independent.

And as far as the concept of passing on the favour goes, she is very enthusiastic.

“I promised Laurie I would pay it forward,” the Nigerian-born Custom House resident said. “I cannot wait to pay it forward.

“You don’t really get people that nice these days, do you?

“It’s good to carry on the legacy.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder