A charity in Colne is fundraising for a new gym, which could be potentially life-changing for those recovering from substance abuse.

Elisha House, a recovery project that supports individuals with a history of substance misuse, is hoping to raise £20,000 for a gym and activity hub.

Through fundraising and Sport England donations, it has already managed to raise £303,000 needed for the gym.

A Crowdfunder has been launched for the remaining funds.

The site will be used for its residents but it will also be open to the wider community.

Emma Ibbetson, a team leader at Elisha House, said: “It is going to be an activity hub and far more than a gym. We are going to be using it for our residents.

“We have been working on this project for the last three years, fundraising and receiving funding from Sport England.”

Currently, residents exercise outside in all weathers. Many are unable to afford a monthly gym membership.

Lancashire Telegraph: The current gym at Elisha House in ColneThe current gym at Elisha House in Colne (Image: Elisha House)Emma said: “Most of the fitness is done outside in our yard which isn’t ideal with the bad weather.

“We have witnessed the positive impact exercising daily can have on our residents' physical and mental health.

“Some of them don't have the confidence to walk into a regular gym because of self-esteem issues and the stigma around addiction and mental health.”

Emma said the gym will allow residents to interact with members of the community.

It will also make it easier for those in the wider community, who may have substance issues for themselves, to access support.

Lancashire Telegraph: Staff and residents at Elisha House in ColneStaff and residents at Elisha House in Colne (Image: Elisha House)

She said: “We are excited to bring this opportunity for our residents and those with similar barriers in the wider community.

“It’s not just about fitness, we want there to be a community feel at the gym.

“Our residents can interact with other people and make positive relationships.

“We want to give our lads the best opportunities possible. Mental fitness is linked to physical fitness.

“We also hope it will be a safe way for people in the wider community to access help.

"If you are having issues with substance misuse it can be difficult to make those first steps, working out with lads in recovery, [can be a great way to take the first steps to get support].

"By promoting recovery, inclusion and wellbeing, the activity hub will contribute to reducing stigma, improving community cohesion, and fostering a healthier and more inclusive community overall.

"Together, we can create a positive and lasting impact on the lives of individuals and the community as a whole."

Money will be used to refurbish an old industrial building. The gym will have a variety of equipment, including free weights and rowers.

It will be free to Elisha House residents and those from the wider community will be asked to contribute a small amount of money.

It is hoped that the gym will be open by the start of July.

Make a donation by visiting the Crowdfunder called Elisha House Community Activity Hub.