Derby County Community Trust's drugs project given funding for another two years
A PROJECT that helped to save the life of a heroin addict by helping him to beat the drug is to be funded for another two years.
Active Choices – run by Derby County Community Trust and the NHS – has steered more than 100 addicts away from drugs through boxing, cookery classes, the gym and football since being set up in 2011.
So far, it has a 100% success rate – with all those who have gone through the programme now off Class A substances, including cocaine, heroin and ecstasy.
One of those helped was Jon Fairbrother who previously told the Derby Telegraph that the project turned his life around by enabling him to beat his heroin addiction and become a qualified football coach.
Due to its success, Derby City Council and NHS Derby City have decided to continue funding the project so more lives can be turned around.
Councillor Martin Repton, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "We are delighted that this very successful programme will continue for another two years.
"The funding will enable this project, which is one of the first of its kind in the country, to continue to provide pioneering support to individuals in Derby to overcome substance misuse.
"Helping people to remain drug-free is a vital part of their rehabilitation and the council recognises and is responding to this important responsibility by providing free exercise opportunities for people involved in Active Choices."
The project gives addicts a personalised plan that introduces them to daily activities such as boxing, cookery classes and football and works in collaboration with the Derby Substance Misuse Service and the Drugs Intervention Programme.
About a third of clients move on to gain a Level 1 football coaching qualification, find employment or leave with a long-term commitment to changing their behaviour.
The scheme encourages people to make positive changes to their lifestyle by doing sports at a time when they are most likely to think about meeting old acquaintances or drift back to behaviour that might lead them back to drugs or in prison.
John Vicars, Derby County Community Trust's chair of trustees, said he was delighted at the impact the programme was having.
He said: "This innovative partnership has already helped over 100 people to turn their lives around. The additional funding will support more people to stay drug free."