Hammersmith & Fulham Council is helping homeless people in the borough to become more active, healthy and confident through an innovative new scheme.
The Get Fit, Get Active project, funded by H&F and run by local charity St Mungo's, introduced 40 homeless people to healthier lifestyles by helping them overcome the two main barriers – expense and lack of confidence.
Those who completed the project were presented with trophies and certificates by H&F Mayor, Cllr Mercy Umeh at Hammersmith Town Hall.
“The impact that the Get Fit, Get Active project had on those people who took part was amazing,” said Cllr Fennimore H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.
“We all know that exercise and a healthy lifestyle is important, but for people without their own place to stay and often struggling with other complex issues, it can be the boost they need to start rebuilding their lives.
“It’s been fantastic to hear from participants about the difference it’s made.”
The 12 week pilot scheme is part of a raft of support to support homeless people run by the charity St Mungo's which is funded by H&F Council.
St Mungo's receives about £1.6m from H&F Council for its work, but saves the borough far more by cutting the need for costly emergency support, from healthcare to housing.
Get Fit, Get Active introduced people to a wide range of activities, including football, boxercise, outdoor gym sessions, yoga and healthy cooking.
Everyone involved said they felt physically, mentally and emotionally fit after taking part.
“When I got there I couldn’t even walk but now I can,” said one who asked not to be named. “I’ve lost weight and the people were really nice.”
It was so successful a second programme has now been planned to begin in July.
The team from H&F Council and St Mungo's worked with QPR in the Community Trust as well as GLL which runs leisure and sports centres in the borough.