AS the July 11 closing date for nominations for the Reading Retail Award nears, a Caversham based gym has been entered by a satisfied customer.

Caversham Health and Fitness was put forward for the Service with a Smile award by Amanda Champion.

The Archway Road club fell into administration two years ago but has since been turned around by its new owner Amanda Adlem.

Mrs Adlem, who previously worked in a dental practice, said: “I had always wanted to run my own business but I very much had to fake it until I could make it.

“It has been hard work but I've absolutely loved it.”

Mrs Adlem bought the club and after an intense period of promotion and implementing her own fitness philosophy, turned around its financial fortunes and raised membership to 850.

“It is not a normal gym. It is a fitness and wellbeing club,” said Mrs Adlem.

“Every one is very friendly here and all the customers are greeted with a smile.

“If you are a member here we do our best to remember your name and make you feel at home.”

Alongside the usual gym facilities are squash courts, osteopathy services, a beauty room that provides non surgical facelifts and pranic healing – an alternative take on acupuncture that forgoes needles in favour of non-intrusive “energy” rebalancing.

The Reading Retail Awards are in their seventh year. Nominations close on July 11 with the awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel on September 17. Nominations can be made and votes cast at