News, opinion and expertise Mental Health 'It feels amazing to have control of your own life' Applications are now open for the latest round of short-term funding from the Public Health Agency for community & voluntary organisations, and we're proud to be managing those applications in a number of Health Trust areas. Last year, one big trend in funding applications was organisations looking to adapt their activity in the face of a global pandemic and restrictions on how they would normally work. ARC Fitness was one of those projects. Read on to find out more... Over the past couple of years Gary Rutherford has become a bit of a star with coverage for his addiction-recovery-through-exercise programme ARC Fitness appearing in the Derry Journal, Belfast Live, BBC News and on RTÉ’s Late Late Show. And that’s not to mention his finalist spot in the all-Ireland AXA Community Hero of the Year Awards. But it’s comments from the organisation’s clients that really spell out its impact. Take the client who reported that the programme of exercise, mindfulness and social ‘check in’ sessions has “changed my outlook to life, made me more confident and gave me more drive,” or the client who said that “it feels amazing to have control of your own life... my grandchildren will know what ARC has done for me and my family.” In 2020/21, PHA funding, administered by the Clear Project, supported ARC Fitness to deliver 40 physical activity sessions, 38 mindfulness sessions, 6 life coaching sessions, 10 check in sessions and 5 yoga sessions, reaching five clients in the Western Trust area who are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. As with many of the projects that received short-term funding in this round, ARC Fitness delivered a great deal of its activity online this year, including using video calls to interact with clients. All five clients achieved a positive change in the PHQ9 psychometric tool.