Coming from a background of substance misuse, Chloe set up Fit4Freedom CIC as a way of helping others change their lives through physical exercise and pursuing healthy and positive lifestyles.
Discovering fitness was the turning point for me and after volunteering for SIAS (Solihull Integrated Addiction Services), the idea for Fit4Freedom started to develop. I wanted to reach out to vulnerable people – those in drug and alcohol recovery, ex-offenders, people with mental health problems, women in refuge, people living with HIV/AIDS, and other excluded groups.”
Chloe, a qualified fitness instructor, was already running classes for SIAS when she was introduced to us as a client through one of the business support programmes we deliver in Solihull.
Development in Social Enterprise got my vision straightaway. I had been hitting brick walls, so it was great to have someone who believed that Fit4Freedom could work and was willing to help me make it happen.”
Working with Chloe, we soon identified a partnership opportunity with Adullam Homes Housing Association, a specialist housing provider for vulnerable and excluded people.
“Adullam had vacant studio space at their flagship site, Rowans Court, in Birmingham. It was the break I had been waiting for. DISE brokered the opportunity for us to go and meet with the Head of Funding, Bob Candlin, and discuss ideas for developing the space as a community gym to promote more active and healthy lifestyles.
“I knew nothing about business and financial projections so DISE helped me write the proposal and negotiate a good deal on the space.”
A successful bid to Awards for All enabled Adullam Homes to purchase the gym equipment, which is provided to Fit4Freedom on lease for one year with an option to extend.
In addition to classes and instruction for residents, Chloe is also in the process of developing a six week programme which will be marketed to local DAATs, key workers, community nurses, social workers, doctors, rehab and aftercare clinics.