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A fighting chance: Rick’s Red Rose Recovery journey

Rick Red Rose IMOW Header

As part of our mission to develop and nurture healthy Communities – we are always looking to provide support to people in difficult circumstances, helping them overcome their challenges and thrive.

Places Gym Preston, along with Red Rose Recovery, has helped create opportunities for those affected by substance misuse, mental health issues, and offending behaviours. The programme's strong support network accompanies participants throughout their recovery journey, while the emphasis on personal development promotes growth and self-confidence. 

All this provides the most crucial element to anybody in recovery: hope.

We spoke to Rick, a Customer who has benefitted from the programme, and Murray MacLennan, Area Healthy Communities Manager (Preston, Chorley, and Sheffield), to gain insights into how initiatives like this can transform lives. 

“My mental health has improved greatly, I'm in recovery, I'm 14 months clean. Coming here every Monday sets me up for the rest of week, it carries me on through the week with a good outlook. I've been doing these sessions since the launch last year and have only missed one day!” He explained.

Physical activities – including white collar boxing sessions – and routine have gone a long way to supporting those taking part, acting as a positive point of focus.   

The scheme also helps advise people on living healthier lifestyles and dieting habits, bringing together the benefits of good physical and mental health following going clean. 

“These sessions give me something to focus on other than my recovery and mental health and have helped me overcome my excessive eating issue and starting to eat healthier.” Rick told us.

Places Gym Red Rose Recovery
Places Gym Preston In Action

We asked what he would say to anyone considering the programme, or similar initiatives to help them navigate difficult times in their lives.

“With support from [Red Rose Recovery], exercise, my faith, and this opportunity it’s going to be a win-win all the way through. I'm 44 years old and if I can do it anyone can.” 

We spoke to Murray MacLennan about the opportunities available for those, like Rick, who are in recovery and how he has forged links to improve availability in his Community. 

“Being the first programme of its kind in the area, it provides crucial support for people on their recovery journey and contributes to enhancing their overall well-being, aligning perfectly with the Five Ways to Wellbeing. I have established a partnership with Red Rose Recovery, serving as the primary source of health and Wellbeing support for the recovery community.” Murray told us.

“As a Lived Experience Recovery Organisation, the team provides inspiration and hope to those seeking a way forward. They collaborate with various partner organisations such as Places Leisure in diverse settings to develop accessible and inclusive pathways for personal development and recovery.”

Having talked to Rick about the difference it’s had on his life – we asked Murray how it feels to hear that the programme has had such a large impact. 

“In a world that can feel incredibly tough to navigate, we all have our own battles to fight. That's why receiving positive feedback like this fills me with so much joy and gives me a renewed sense of hope. It serves as a reminder that, no matter what we're going through, there's always a glimmer of light that can guide us forward. Just like Rick, who took that brave first step towards a brighter future. I am truly proud of the work we do in the Healthy Communities Team, creating interventions that have a lasting impact and can truly change lives. It's comforting to know that our efforts are making a real difference in the lives of others.”

You can find information about Places Leisure locations near you.

Read more heart-warming stories from our Customers and People

We hope you found this story inspirational. If you would like to read more stories from around the Places for People organisation, check out more of our In My Own Words stories.  

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