Former WeWork UK and Virgin Active boss partners with Moda to pioneer UK’s healthiest rental communities

Moda, a developer creating thousands of homes for rent, has announced a partnership with hero, a new digital wellness company founded by the former boss of WeWork and Virgin Active.

Joe Gaunt was most recently the UK managing director at the $35bn co-working giant before setting up hero, a digital wellness platform. The company provides personal and group training alongside an app to help track how activity, nutrition, mindfulness and movement impact people’s health and wellbeing.

Moda’s partnership with hero aims to go one step further than simply creating gyms and shared amenities, by forging a more open and inclusive approach to supporting its residents’ physical, social and mental wellbeing.

The Office for National Statistics said in April that 61% of young renters reported feeling lonely occasionally, often, or always, versus 46% of the overall sample. It said that the problem was most acute in renters who have “little trust and sense of belonging to their area.”

Training club – more than just a gym

The first 10,000 sq. ft. hero training club will occupy the ground floor of Moda’s Manchester build-to-rent scheme when it completes next year. The training club will be split into four zones, to reflect four disciplines; Stronger, Athletic, Cardio and Rejuvenate. Unlike traditional gyms, members will either work out with a personal trainer or as part of a group class. Hero’s innovative tech encourages people to live healthier lifestyles, pulling analytics from wearables used to track sleep, movement, nutrition and mood, as well as 3D body scanning, to help its members understand and set goals to improve their wellbeing.

Prioritising emotional and physical wellness

As well as focusing on physical health, the partnership with hero will also provide support around nutrition and mindfulness. Hero will provide mental health first aid training to Moda’s on-site resident team, helping them identify and provide support to a person who may be developing a mental health issue.

Hero recently acquired a specialist nutrition company that works with everyone from international rugby teams to premier league champions which will enable it to provide the same pro-sport nutrition advice to Moda residents.

Hero’s platform encourages members and residents to form groups and compete with each other, gamifying the wellbeing experience and enabling community events such as nutrition led cooking classes and group fitness.