44 on waiting list for ARC Fitness

Over 40 people who struggle with substance misuse are on the waiting list for a programme which uses fitness to aid their recovery.

ARC Fitness was set up by Gary Rutherford, who struggled with addiction for a number of years before getting sober and becoming a qualified mental health nurse.

Gary found that fitness was an integral part of his recovery and decided to help others struggling with substance abuse through a fitness programme.

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The local man said it is ‘frustrating’ that there are so many people on the waiting list because he would like to help as many people as possible.

“I’m still working full-time as well as running six classes a week and one-to-one sessions. The demand for our service is massive, but time is a real issue,” he said.

So far, twelve people have completed the programme and the results show that anxiety, depression, cravings, sleep, quality of life and relationships have all improved. Ten of them are still actively involved with ARC and one has continued their training closer to where they live.

The third programme, comprising six people, began earlier this week.

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“The programme has expanded and we now have Ciaran Graham, a dynamic running therapist, taking two sessions. Instead of sitting down and chatting to a counsellor, Ciaran takes them running and they talk as they run.

”We have decided to do social events, because the community is a massive driver for us. Starbucks agreed to let us meet there once a month with our families and supporters. At the minute it is just for people involved with the programme.

“We are also getting them involved in events in the community, like charity boot camps or the fancy dress park run. It is so rewarding to see how far we have come in such a short space of time.”