Recently we featured local charity Noah's Ark and their collaboration with Active Calderdale, adding physical activity as another string to their bow to promote self-worth, resilience and freedom from negative coping strategies in both staff and clients. You can read the blog here. Following that, we learnt of Anna's story and how her involvement with Noah's Ark is having a huge impact on her life.
When Anna first arrived at Noah's Ark as a client for debt advice, she was misusing alcohol. Anna struggled massively during COVID and staff would often see her walking past the building and heading up to the off-licence. Thankfully, Noah's Ark were able to help her engage with recovery steps, control her debt problems (which were adding to her difficulties with alcohol) and support her with food.
In 2021, Anna approached Noah's Ark and asked if they had any volunteering opportunities: they did, in their food bank. Anna transformed their food support project and the Ark was able to offer her a small paid job. Anna feels her continued abstinence is in no small part due to the job she has with the charity: she loves being able to say, "Oh I work at Noah's Ark", and she's very proud of her role.
When staff were told about the Active Calderdale project, Anna was one of the first staff members to take part. She had been thinking about joining a gym as she wanted to be more physically active. Anna has been a regular member of the walking group which has seen her physical ability improve markedly. So much so, Anna now feels able to attend more organised gym classes and has recently joined the Treadmill gym in Holmfield.
"I suffer from COPD and the walk to Tesco from my house is up a slight incline. I've never previously been able to walk there without pausing halfway to catch my breath. Amazingly, since I started the Noah's Ark walking group, I can now walk to Tesco without stopping. That's a real achievement for me, it feels like I've hit a milestone, not quite a couch to 5K but still significant."Anna - Noah's Ark staff member
Anna is now in a period of sobriety of 24 months and counting and continues her rewarding work at Noah's Ark. Active Calderdale would like to wish Anna continued success on her active journey and sustained abstinence.
Do you have an inspiring active story to share with us? E-mail us at ActiveCalderdale@calderdale.gov.uk.