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People: Jane Moodie, Challenge through Sport Initiative

Project coordinator, Challenge through Sport Initiative

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 10
Moodie says CSI has engaged with 2,200 people so far
Moodie says CSI has engaged with 2,200 people so far
Most people in recovery believe that people like them can’t go into a gym, so we help them to overcome these barriers

What is the Challenge through Sport Initiative?
CSI is a bespoke behaviour change programme for people in recovery from alcohol or substance misuse. Organised by Lancashire Sport Partnership, it’s led by support workers who are themselves in recovery. We get individuals involved in physical activity and sport to improve their long term health and economic profiles.

How did CSI come about?
It was spearheaded by our CEO, Adrian Leather, and Tom Woodcock from Public Health England (PHE) who together wanted to do something to encourage people who are in recovery to be active.

In 2014 a pilot project was introduced in four areas of Lancashire, which successfully engaged with 600 people. Our service was launched off the back of it in August 2015. After the pilot we successfully bid for £500,000 from Sport England and received match funding from the Police Crime Commission and PHE.

How does the initiative work?
We network with recovery agencies and attend drop-ins to connect with people who may like to use our service. To start with, we consult with the individuals and find out what sort of activities would be appealing to them: it could be swimming, kickboxing, climbing or self defence. We then liaise with grassroots clubs in the area.

How did the partnership with Xercise4less come about?
We linked up with Xercise4less in December 2016 because they have been supportive of what we are doing.

Most people in recovery believe that people like them can’t go into a gym, so we help them to overcome these barriers by meeting them at the facility, showing them around and making them feel more comfortable.

We pay for a six month membership, after which they can join if they want to without the admin or joining fee. If they can’t afford it then they can just do the free sessions that Xercise4less offers.

What have been the results of the CSI programme?
Key impacts have been a marked reduction in re-admission to specialist health services and increased levels of employment in the target group.

So far we’ve engaged with 2,200 people and at least 100 people have moved into employment, as well as regained access to, or custody of, children, and places in sheltered accommodation.

How would you like this to progress in the future?
It would be great to work with even more organisations and to spread geographically. We’ve already had a gym operator from the south east contact us because they would like to offer the same type of service as Xercise4less.

We’re more than happy to share the experiences and challenges that we’ve faced, because we know this will help a lot of people to get back to work, as well as get fit and healthy.

CSI has linked up with Xercise4less to help people in recovery get fitter
CSI has linked up with Xercise4less to help people in recovery get fitter
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/947126_157181.jpg
Challenge through Sport Initiative's Jane Moodie tells how exercise is helping people who are in recovery from alcohol or substance misuse
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