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27.07.07
Full time fitness for Jo

UCP graduate Jo LakeJo Lake of Mike Munds Fitness Studio in Bodmin, who helped BBC Radio Cornwall presenter David White to lose two stone during the station's Lean and Green challenge, has recently completed a twelve month marketing project with the gym and been recruited to the full time position of Marketing Manager.

With Jo's guidance, David lost the weight in just eight weeks, lowered his blood pressure and now follows a healthy lifestyle with a nutrition plan and regular gym sessions. Following that success, BBC Radio Cornwall also invited the gym to participate in their display at the Royal Cornwall Show, with Mike himself performing workout demonstrations to an estimated 16,000 people visiting the tent each day.

Jo's input at the gym saw membership numbers rise by 43% and provided enhanced facilities and new programmes for gym members. One scheme that was implemented involved a diet and fitness master class led by Simon Jurkiw from Maximuscle, a leading sports nutrition supplier. Jo also forged links with multinational companies including Technogym, which provides professional workout equipment and is an official supplier to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Jo, who studied at Cornwall College St Austell and the University of Gloucestershire, was always determined to build her career in Cornwall, explaining: "Finding a job close to home was essential for me, as my family have lived here for generations and there really is nowhere as special as Cornwall. Inspiring people to get active and feel better about themselves is something I really enjoy and to be offered a full time job doing exactly that is a dream come true."

Owner Mike Munds had recruited Jo through Combined Universities in Cornwall's graduate placement scheme – Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) – in June 2006 when he had been looking for a skilled graduate to take control of the marketing and events management functions of the business.

He is obviously pleased with the positive effect Jo has had at the studio, commenting: "Jo came to us through UCP and we couldn't have asked for a better candidate. Jo has proved to be a great asset to the business and I am very pleased that she will be continuing with us as Marketing Manager." He adds: "The UCP programme works really well – matching the right person to the right job. And the ongoing support from the project officer is invaluable too."

Now Jo has reached the end of her UCP project and her achievements have been rewarded by a full time management level position, she is keen to play an active and ongoing role in the local business community, commenting: "I was recently invited to speak to Cornish businesses at Cornwall College's Business Event called 'Good for Cornwall, Good for Business' and I was delighted to be involved. My UCP project was the start of so many opportunities."

The Unlocking Cornish Potential scheme, which is supported by Objective One and managed by Cornwall College, specialises in arranging placements for graduates within Cornish businesses to work on projects which will improve company success and also provide real life work experience. With 148 UCP placements already completed and over 70% of their graduates gaining full time employment as a result, UCP remains a valuable resource for Cornwall's businesses.

For further information contact Emma Stallard, Combined Universities in Cornwall PR and Communications Officer on 01326 370446 or email emma.stallard@cuc.ac.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), in Unlocking Cornish Potential through the European Social Fund (ESF) and in Business Link through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF). Cornwall College is a partner of the CUC.

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Editor's notes:

The Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) project is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative and is managed by Cornwall College. UCP builds on 5 years of highly successful, ESF funded activity by the University of Plymouth. The UCP project seeks to measurably improve the efficiency, competitiveness and growth potential of SMEs in Cornwall through the placement of graduates in companies to undertake business development projects. These projects can last from 6 to 12 months.

The Combined Universities in Cornwall is a dynamic and visionary partnership that is one of the driving forces behind Cornwall's economic renaissance. This partnership combines the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, University College Falmouth, The Open University, The College of St Mark & St John, and the Peninsula Medical School, with Cornwall's Further Education colleges - Cornwall College, Truro College and Penwith College. It aims not only to provide the students of the future with more choice and greater opportunities, but also to boost the economic fortunes of the region for the benefit of one and all.

The CUC initiative has been invested in by the Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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