Challenge through Sport Initiative
The CSI Programme has been running very successfully now for 8 years across Lancashire. It is a bespoke behaviour change programme for people who need to build up their resilience to substance misuse. This includes working with those with Mental Health issues (especially Dual Diagnosis), those in the Criminal Justice System and just as importantly their friends and families. Our key focus is to engage people into activities to: build their resilience, connect with other people, integrate back into their community, build confidence/self-esteem, and improve physical and mental wellbeing. Participants are all mentored by members of the CSI Support Team throughout this journey. To enhance the recovery journey, CSI work with various partners and individuals are signposted to those who can best meet their personal needs by working together.
How does CSI work?
We have a very simple model that supports other specialist agencies. The programme is led by support mentors who themselves have lived experience of substance misuse and have become role models through engaging in the CSI Programme. All the team started as participants, became volunteers, received training and when the opportunities arose, were offered employment on the CSI Programme. They are extremely passionate and motivated about what they do because they believe in it. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge that makes them great peer navigators who understand the importance of signposting participants to other agencies to support their individual needs.
What does the CSI programme offer?
Programme activities are all fun, free and inclusive and vary across Lancashire depending on participant need. Details of all the activities taking place are in the timetables below. They are delivered or facilitated by the CSI Support Mentors who are all fully qualified coaches/tutors, First Aiders and Mental Health First Aiders. The sessions allow all who attend to feel valued and offer a safe and non-judgmental space. For sustainable and added benefit to the community, all activities are linked in with local community clubs because a percentage of participants move on to attend other sports-based sessions within their community. Everyone is encouraged to engage families and friends in the activities to help support them and to encourage them to become active and lead healthier lifestyles. This creates a ripple effect that has an impact not just on participants but on the community in which they live.
How will CSI help me?
CSI offers an exit route and provides a maintenance pathway with support, so people have a safe space and a place to be themselves. Over the 8 years we have been in existence, we have engaged with just over 7000 participants and around 500 peer support volunteers. Key impacts have been a marked reduction in re-admission to specialist health services, reductions in reoffending, improvements in people’s economic circumstances, and increased levels of employment.
Positive Fact:- Our statistics show that people who engage with CSI activities and Support Mentors are much more likely to complete their treatment, group sessions, and workshops with other agencies. CSI sessions complement other services that participants are engaged with. In turn, they empower people to feel more confident by providing support throughout a person’s journey.