Portsmouth City Council has agreed to provide funding for 2 years to Re:Fit, a service offering sports and leisure activities to those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

Re:Fit, a partnership between the Society of St James (SSJ) and Pompey in the Community (PitC), had been run using lottery funding but this has come to an end. As well as a programme of sport and leisure activities, including badminton, football, table tennis, chess, boxing and gym sessions, it also offers training, education and employment opportunities. Together these are designed to improve physical health, mental wellbeing, self-esteem, confidence, social interaction, and motivation.

The money provided by Portsmouth City Council pays for one full-time Pompey in the Community staff member to work on the project for two years. This is less provision than what the Lottery funding enabled but there is the possibility that the Lottery will match fund, which would enable Re:Fit to operate to a more similar level to its current offering.

Clare Martin, Director of Community Projects at Pompey in the Community, said; "We're overjoyed that Portsmouth City Council has provided funding to Re:Fit for 2 years. Without this it seemed that the service would have to close, which would be such a blow as we've seen how effective Re:Fit can be in helping those dealing with addiction to turn their lives around. We're thrilled that we can keep Re:Fit running and look forward to it playing a part in more success stories."

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council, said: "I'm pleased that we're able to support Re:Fit and keep it running. It's such a valuable project in helping to support people in recovery to live free of drugs and alcohol. It provides structure, purpose, distraction and friendship; all of which are key to people in recovery. It also helps to build skills and qualifications to assist people in finding employment, which is also important in beating addiction.

"The stories of people that have been helped by Re:Fit are incredibly inspiring and I'm pleased that the service will remain so that other people will be able to benefit from the support it provides."