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Canary Wharf: How Wharf Wellness will showcase offerings across the estate

Four-day wellbeing festival will feature taster sessions, offers and discounts in September 2023

Third Space will be hosting Yoga at Crossrail Place Roof Garden for Wharf Wellness

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We’ve had the blockbuster nights of Festival14 with the likes of Craig Charles and Soul II Soul rocking Canada Square Park.

There have been the tense dramatic screenings of the Lionesses’ triumphs and noble defeat in the World Cup Final.

There’s about to be the spectacle of Dancing City.

But just when you thought things might be settling down, another festival packed with activities arrives on the horizon.

There’s an air of serene calm about this one, however – an antidote, perhaps, to some of the summer’s frenetic buzz.

Wharf Wellness is set to take over the Canary Wharf estate from September 27-30, 2023, with a four-day programme of taster sessions and experiences as well as discounts and offers.

While the full roster of events is still being finalised, Canary Wharf Group has shared some early details so everyone can begin to get organised. 

Broadly speaking, Wharf Wellness can be divided relatively neatly in two.

The first is a programme of experiences run by local firms and organisations based on the estate, designed to showcase what they offer with taster workouts and workshops.

The second is a series of discounts and offers from lifestyle and hospitality businesses on the Wharf that will run throughout the festival’s four-day duration.

Canary Wharf Group retail marketing manager, Claire Slater, said: “It’s a celebration of health and wellbeing across the estate.

Wharf Wellness brings together the best in fitness, healthy eating and healthcare to reflect the diversity of what’s on offer in Canary Wharf, giving workers, visitors and local residents the opportunity to experience it.

“We decided to create it because of the breadth of what’s here, which we really want to shout about.

Canary Wharf Group retail marketing manager Claire Slater

“Ultimately, we want to give people a bit of ‘me time’ while they’re on the Wharf and also to promote our green spaces and waterways – to let people know how much there is here to get involved with and how they can do that.”

The full programme of events is still being finalised with more announcements expected in the coming weeks, but some of the estate’s biggest names are already involved including Third Space, Barry’s and Sweat By BXR.

“We hope there will be an element of surprise for some people participating,” said Claire.

“For example, Third Space will be hosting a Yoga session at Crossrail Place Roof Garden with a mocktail afterwards at Pergola On The Wharf.

“Some people have yet to discover that space, so having the classes up there will really add to the delight we hope people taking part will feel.

“Personally, I think it’s just a really lovely place to be.”

The majority of activities on offer will be free to attend with bookings set to open mid September. 

Access to all classes will be via the Canary Wharf app, which can be downloaded via this link for Android or Apple devices.

A series of discounts, offers and events will also be available exclusively via the app featuring the likes of Randox Health, Space NK, Farmer J, Atis, Pure, Le Chalet Cryo, Aesop and BlooBloom, details of which will be announced in due course.

Love Open Water will host a session suitable for beginners in Middle Dock

“With most sessions free, Wharf Wellness means you don’t need to have a gym membership to experience an amazing class from the brands taking part,” said Claire.

“There will also be open water swimming in Middle Dock with Love Open Water – a really inclusive session designed for beginners to explore in a safe space.

“We’re also very excited about Padium, the new padel tennis club, which is opening its doors at Bank Street at the end of the month.

“They will be offering a session to introduce people to the sport and the facility, which comes with a salad from Urban Greens too.”

Other attractions include plant-based summer roll making in a lunchtime session with a chef at recent Wood Wharf arrival Mallow and a makeup masterclass from Bobbi Brown.

“That’s part of our focus on self-care,” said Claire.

“It’s on the Friday evening, which is perfect for anyone who is set to go out afterwards.

“Then, alongside sessions from Barry’s and Union Square installation Mandala Lab on Saturday, we’re also working to provide something for families with a company called Wee Movers.

“They will be putting on a session of Yoga for kids and their parents at Crossrail Place Roof Garden.”

 With more still in the pipeline, Wharf Life will continue to update readers as new announcements are made, including the date when bookings will go live.

Until then, stay tuned to Canary Wharf’s website and app for updates.

Barry’s at Crossrail Place will be offering sessions in its Red Room studio

CHOOSE YOUR PATH – Wharf Wellness 2023

While the final programme is set to be released in September, we can reveal some dates and times to whet the wellness appetite and get pencils scribbling in diaries…

>> WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

Yoga + Mocktails

5.45pm, Crossrail Roof Garden

Europe’s largest luxury health club, Third Space, will host a Yoga session amid the lush vegetation of the roof garden followed by a refreshing mocktail at nearby Pergola On The Wharf.

Sound Journey

6pm, Mandala Lab, Union Square

Head over to Wood Wharf and discover the Rubin Museum’s interactive installation for a sonic adventure inspired by the principles of Buddhism. Mandala Lab will also be hosting sessions on Sept 29 and 30, both at 6pm.

>> THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

Dip + Sip

7.45am, Love Open Water, Middle Dock

Beginners are welcome at this morning open water swimming session at the heart of Canary Wharf. Afterwards, participants are invited for a smoothie or juice at Caravan.

The Red Room 

Time TBC, Barry’s, Crossrail Place

Try out a class in Barry’s iconic red room fitness studio, mixing cardio with resistance training to torch calories fast. Barry’s will also be hosting a session on Sept 30, time TBC.

Summer Roll Making

12.30pm, Mallow, Wood Wharf

Visit the plant-based restaurant for a 50-minute session with participants learning to make summer rolls for their lunch. A great way to discover what Mallow has to offer.

Sweat By BXR will be hosting a boxing class for Wharf Wellness

>> FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

Boxing Class

8am, Sweat By BXR, Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Start the day with a serious, boxing-inspired workout amongst the greenery from this bespoke studio, then refuel with breakfast from Fresh Fitness Food.

Intro To Padel

2pm, Padium, Bank Street

Learn to play padel tennis at newly opened club Padium with this hour and a half-long session covering rules, scoring, techniques and strategies. Participants will also get a salad from nearby Urban Greens.

Makeup Masterclass

5.30pm, Bobbi Brown, Location TBC

Zeroing in on self care, this session is aimed at those looking for tips and techniques to perfect their look.

>> SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

Kids + Parents Yoga

2.30pm, Wee Movers, Crossrail Place Roof Garden

This hour-long session is aimed at family wellness, with kids and their parents invited for a child-friendly exploration of movement and wellbeing.

Read More: ow Jon Hala in Canary Wharf became a family business

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Randox Health’s Discovery package takes a bodily snapshot

What going to the brand’s Canary Wharf clinic is like for its £195, 150-data point assessment

Randox Health in Canary Wharf

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“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but not half so bad as a lot of ignorance,” wrote Terry Pratchett at the opening of his 1987 novel Equal Rites.

There he was referring to a bumbling wizard keen to secure his magical legacy before his inevitable death, but the sentiment nevertheless remains broadly true.  

We are passengers in our bodies.

Whatever it is that passes for our consciousness, if handed full control, would last perhaps a few seconds before being overwhelmed by the astonishing complexities of breathing, pumping blood, interpreting nerve signals and digesting food before rapidly dying. 

To jump on the current cultural zeitgeist, Dr Robert Oppenheimer astutely pointed out in one of his Reith Lectures for the BBC that even the best of us, toiling for a lifetime, only manage to do one or two things really well. 

If faced with operating the systems of the body, the poor sentient parts of our brains would be next to helpless. 

That’s not to say, of course, that we can’t notice things that might help out or improve the way we work.

You don’t need to know how a combustion engine works to understand that putting oil in it lubricates the mechanism and tops it seizing.

Human life has steadily been getting longer precisely as the species has got better at preserving it through medicine, diet, health and safety measures and, generally speaking, killing one another less.

One of those ongoing, incremental revolutions is the rise of monitoring – the collection of data about ourselves, our health and the ways we might use that information to improve things.

While our phones measure our steps, the number of floors we’ve climbed and our sleep, it’s become increasingly commonplace to see people in the gym wearing heart rate monitors and patches continually measuring blood glucose levels.

The idea is that the mostly unseen secrets of our bodies could hold the key to radical benefits for our short and long-term wellbeing.

Who wouldn’t want to know, right? 

So, when Randox Health offered me the chance to sample its £195 Discovery package I jumped at the opportunity.

With branches across London, including one recently opened in Canary Wharf, the company is the consumer-facing arm of Randox proper, a Northern Ireland-based global health testing business with revenues in the hundreds of millions.

Six vials of blood are drawn during the Discovery appointment

The appointment arrived on a fresh July morning.

I hadn’t read the instructions properly – glancing through them in Third Space’s changing room, following an unusually strenuous morning Yoga session, I realised too late that I was supposed to have avoided exercise prior to the tests.

Having feverishly consumed about three litres of water in a desperate bid to rehydrate, I nevertheless marched into the Cabot Square clinic to be met with reassurance that we could still go ahead.

Clinical lead Patricia Veres then took me into a consultation room where I was quizzed on the general state of my health, my medical background and lifestyle choices.

The experience then split into three parts. 

First I was measured and underwent a body composition scan to assess muscle and fat quantities and ratios.

Next I was dispatched to do the awkward dance of the urine sample – somewhat welcome given my enthusiastic efforts to hydrate.

Patricia told me it should be mid stream, but did that mean I should stop or simply resign myself to a certain amount of splashing?

Suffice to say, pot filled and on to the next adventure.

The final act was the blood test itself.

Having been rejected as a plasma donor during the pandemic thanks to my deeply buried veins, I was dreading this part – but Patricia was the model of slick professionalism, delivering a minimal sharp scratch in seconds and rapidly filling six vials.

With my various liquids and measurements dispatched, ready to give me 150 pieces of information about my body, Patricia took time to answer every one of my questions. 

The feel of the whole business was medical but shot through with a welcoming warmth intended to relax and allay customers’ fears.

It worked, I left feeling reassured in the knowledge that in a few days I’d have some fresh insights land in my inbox.

What happens next is just that.

A little less than five working days later, I received a link to the various reports.

These come presented in three documents. The first a summary of any headline issues picked up during the tests, covering various systems in the body.

The second is a copy of the body composition scan which you get to see and discuss in the initial appointment and the third is the detailed results themselves.

Randox also sends out a paper copy of the latter, although quite why in 2023, is anybody’s guess.

Perhaps some people like to frame them.

For want of a more technical explanation, my summary was fairly simple – 82% of the test results were normal or optimal, 4% were a little off and 14% were of some concern.

Some of the report’s conclusions were of little surprise. I’m clinically a bit overweight and could certainly do with shifting a few pounds. I knew that anyway.

But the value here is really in getting glimpses of what lies beneath.

There were bursts of relief – my prostate shows no signs of concern right now, ditto my liver and kidneys.

My diet is apparently working to provide adequate levels of almost all essential nutrients (vitamin D supplements are my secret, especially given the so-called summer we’ve had to date).

But then there’s my phosphorus levels, something possibly a bit questionable with my thyroid function, a bit too much bad cholesterol and an over-abundance of fat-carrying triglycerides in my blood. 

With the exception of the weight, I’m currently asymptomatic so none of these issues would likely have seen me beating down my GP’s door.

A summary of Jon’s Discovery test results

Now I know, however, I well might. 

It’s important to note that a Discovery report is not a diagnosis. The point is to deliver data that may allow people to take action to head off any issues that might be creeping up.

My thyroid function, for example, is completely normal at present.

But the presence of certain antibodies suggests that might not be the case in future so it’s worth keeping an eye on.

It’s also worth noting that a test on a single day is simply a snapshot of the body in a particular state at certain time.

It’s likely the harsh sweaty shapes I’d spent part of the morning bending my unwilling body into will have had some impact on the results – my triglyceride levels, for example.

But others are quite clear.

It’s reassuring to know that my diet is broadly delivering what it should albeit with a side of too much saturated fat. That’s an easy fix.

Tougher is finding enough phosphorus to eat.

After getting the report I later leave Waitrose with a basket overflowing with pumpkin seeds, kefir, mackerel and sardines.

My salted butter days may be behind me, but there’s no shortage of delicious alternatives that should help keep my skeleton in bones. 

I will also be seeking a phosphorus supplement, at least in the short term, because while my levels are catastrophically low, its a mineral you have to be careful not to top up too much.

In the end though, the proof will be in the pudding.

While Discovery offers a snapshot, Randox’s most popular packages are its Everyman and Everywoman offerings.

For £295, you essentially get two Discoveries six months apart to help track the impact of any changes you’ve made.

Just don’t go too radical – after all, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Read More: How Jon Hala in Canary Wharf became a family business

Read Wharf Life’s e-edition here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Randox Health’s 20th clinic brings tests and IV drips to the Wharf

Brands’ roll out brings cost of its flagship Everyman and Everywoman packages down to £295

Randox Health’s new clinic at Cabot Place

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Unprecedented’ was one of the words that got more than its fair share of exercise during the pandemic.

But it is perhaps one of the best terms to describe the levels of information about ourselves that we can measure and record.

Never before have so many people been able to capture such a vast quantity of data about themselves.

What was once mostly the preserve of the healthcare sector, has now become part of daily life for the populace, with easy ways to measure everything from steps and sleep to blood sugar and oxygenation levels.

One of the effects of the pandemic is that most people have become used to the idea of testing themselves regularly – a normalising of such behaviour in a section of the population that might otherwise have not had much contact with the medical world.

It’s against this backdrop that Randox Health is engaged in a roll out of new clinics, including its latest opening in Canary Wharf’s Cabot Place.

While the brand first emerged in the early 2010s, it has grown from four locations to 20 with many more in the pipeline.

Essentially the consumer-facing arm of Randox proper – a provider of laboratory, health and toxicology services to some 145 countries that was founded in County Antrim more than 40 years ago – Randox Health offers an extensive menu of tests to paying customers.

“The plan was to make our services more accessible to the public,” said Celine Hasson, operations manager at the company who oversees six of its clinics in the capital. 

“We already had locations in west London and then in central London but we weren’t reaching out to east London and we saw a demand for testing, which is why we’ve opened in Canary Wharf.

“It was our busiest opening with 22 appointments on the first day.

“The services we offer range widely over concerns about any aspect of a person’s body.

“We can test for conditions related to the kidneys, thyroid and hormones as well as things like sexually transmitted infections and genetic factors such as lactose intolerance. 

“We like to give people a full-body MOT so they can get a better understanding of their bodies and any lifestyle changes which may be necessary to ensure good health.

“For this we offer a range of packages from smaller ones to the larger ones that incorporate everything.

“Depending on the results, we might suggest a customer seeks further guidance from a GP if there is anything in the results that needs to be flagged up.”

A wide range of tests is available at the clinic

Randox Health’s flagship offerings are its Everyman and Everywoman packages, both costing £295.

These provide up to 150 data points over two rounds of testing and include a personalised health plan.

“We arrange an initial appointment for blood and urine testing,” said Celine.

“Our clients will get their results within two to five working days through our app and also sent out by post.

“These are presented via a traffic light system – green’s fine, amber may be something to look into and red is where further investigation is needed.

“Included is an optional discussion with one of our scientists – although this isn’t a clinical or medical appointment.

“Customers can also talk to a GP for a consultation fee of £70.

“Then people come back six months later for a repeat set of tests – the biomarker tracking – and another consultation.”

The cost, excluding the doctor, works out at less than £25 per month as Randox’s ongoing expansion brings prices down. It previously worked out at more than £40.

“We feel it’s not that much money to spend on your health,” said Celine.

“We are providing preventative healthcare and, in the wake of the pandemic, we’re finding a lot of customers are concerned about their health.

“That’s why we’re opening new clinics. It’s up to the customer how they want to interpret their body – how often they feel they need to be checking in with themselves.

“We have some who come back every year, to ensure they are making any lifestyle changes that are necessary – diet, exercise or taking supplements, for example. 

“Some have their tests and then take that information to their NHS GP to discuss the findings. In general they are very focused on what changes they could make to improve their health.

“We get a very broad range of people who come to us, with people aged 18, right up to those in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

“It’s for anyone who is concerned about their long term health and wants to take measures to improve it.”

Randox Health also offers other packages including its £2,600 Signature option, which provides 350 data points alongside genetic testing and GP advice. There are options aimed at pregnant women and athletes too.

In addition, the firm offers a range of more specific tests covering everything from genetic cancer screening to hormonal health for both sexes, gut health and a £45 test for prostate health.

“Two weeks ago, we had a customer in our Liverpool clinic who had a PSA test as part of their Everyman package,” said Celine.

“The results were elevated and quite concerning and their GP was able to refer them for cancer diagnosis at an early stage.

“The customer was really grateful because that was a potentially lifesaving result and it’s things like that which make it very worthwhile.”

Randox Health operations manager Celine Hasson

While Randox Health stresses that it’s not a clinical or medical company at heart, it has just struck a deal to offer intravenous vitamin infusions in its clinics in partnership with US firm Reviv.

Potentially, it’s a way for customers to top up their vitamin levels and address any imbalances in their bodies revealed by testing.

“This is something new for us, so we thought it would be good to partner with a company that has experience in the field,” said Celine, who splits her time between Northern Ireland and the London clinics she oversees.

“We have qualified nurses who do the canulation and then it’s a 45-minute appointment for the infusion drips.”

A selection of IV drip therapies are available starting at £85 for a Miniboost intended to help recharge energy levels in response to stress or jet lag. It contains a blend of B vitamins, Vitamin C and antioxidants.

The priciest option on the menu is the Heliix, which promises to deliver “a powerhouse of antioxidants, including vitamin C, glutathione and alpha lipoic acid” intended to help detoxify the body and support collagen production, sleep, mood and immunity.

A selection of booster shots is also available.

Bookings can be made at the Canary Wharf clinic via this link.

Read more: How the Prost8 Challenge is helping fight cancer

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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