Hope North East
P5. Physical Activity Inclusion
1 January, 2013
Submitted: 20 December, 2011
Target group: Hope North East (HNE) CIC is a user-led, abstinence based drug and alcohol recovery support service which operates in Middlesbrough, helping socially excluded and marginalised individuals to re-integrate into community and recover from addiction issues.Participants are adults, ranged 18+ and will have a range of issues such as addiction, mental health, homeless/rough sleeper, disability etc).Background: Last year we were successful in obtaining funding from 'Active Middlesbrough' to run a regular weekly walking group on a sunday (walks of varying ability levels from beginners up over - these have included parts of the Cleveland Way, Roseberry Topping, 3 Peaks, Clay Bank, Sutton Bank, Paitley Bridge, Bingham Rocks, and Helmsely to name but a few).These have become very popular and for many individuals, forms part of their recovery journey and is helping them therapeutically to either achieve or maintain their abstinence and develop personal resilience to other challenges and forms of stress.Aims: -We are encouraging our service users to participate in physical exercise as a way of improving well-being, mental health, socialisation, confidence and recovery from addiction. -There is a growing evidence base within the 'recovery community' which identifies that escaping into green spaces, out of the towns and cities can have beneficial effects in terms of overall health and wellbeing.-HNE is committed to play our part in supporting our service users to contribute to overall public health improvement across Middlesbrough.Need: Feedback from those who participated is very positive and encouraging. Service users talk about improvements to their overall physical well- being, some have gone on to to join local authority gyms, fitness centres, others have accessed smoking cessation services, quit smoking and others have become more conscious and aware of what they eat.The HNE service user recovery group and Sunday walking group have both identified further areas for development of the walks. HNE are providing weekend recovery walks throughout the year. The Marmot Review states that nationally, there are gaps of up to 7 years in life expectancy between the richest and poorest neighbourhoods.HNE will address a number of relevant health inequalities, impacting upon the male/female life expectancy of our service users and has an identified plan in place. In Middlesbrough, there are pockets of very low income and deprivation within the areas where a lot of our service users reside and these are associated with higher levels of smoking, obesity, harms arising from drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues.The HNE saturday winter recovery walks can make a useful contribution to increasing the self-efficacy of our service users to make sustained lifestyle improvements.