As well as being a member of Vernon Lodge No. 5117 and a proud Cheshire Freemason, Ollie Coburn is the founder of one of healthcare’s most unique social enterprise businesses.
Freehab is breaking the mould of a typical rehabilitation and physiotherapy service by removing the financial barriers to access. Easy to see why it was once described by journalist Mariella Frostrup as the ‘foodbank of healthcare’.
Freehab provides online consultations with specialist clinicians who give advice, support and rehab for injuries and conditions of muscles, joints, bones, ligaments, nerves and spine – lower back pain and arthritis are common examples. Freehab is delivered through one-to-one video consultations and app-based, personalised rehab plans. The service is offered free of charge for everyone, and is funded through optional voluntary contributions. Everybody involved in running and supporting Freehab does so on a voluntary basis, including Ollie. Any contributions received can be reinvested to helping others.
Since the country emerged from COVID-19 restrictions, healthcare has been under enormous pressure. In focus for Freehab are the near 23 million people in the UK with a musculoskeletal condition, which comes at a cost of about £10 billion each year to the NHS. For most, prices in the private sector are unaffordable and NHS waiting times leave many struggling. Freehab is on a mission to change that.
‘I founded Freehab because I want to enable everybody to invest in their health so they can lead an active and healthy life. Healthcare is for everyone, regardless of financial circumstances or geography. Through thoughtful and well designed social enterprise businesses, we can deliver that in the independent sector.'