THE 180 PROJECT
The 180 Project is a recovery programme in Lancashire and is one of the first of its kind in the UK, turning recovering addicts and alcoholics into “athletes”, breaking the cycle of substance abuse, crime and prison to help rebuild lives whilst also aiming to reach those people who are at risk of falling into this cycle as early as possible.
Officially launched in 2018, the idea for The 180 Project came from Lindsey and Robin Middleton and a few other individuals who attended CrossFit gym in Clitheroe and who worked in the fields of substance misuse, the national health service, the criminal justice system and people in recovery from substance misuse issues.
It was recognised that an adapted CrossFit (high intensity exercise) programme, combined with education, mentoring and peer support, had the ability to give focus and hope to offenders in the system and those recovering from addiction. Based at the newly refurbished Delta Fox gym in Darwen, and working with both men and women,The 180 Project works to create a new community that is safe, encouraging and accepting.
St James’ Church is a mission partner with The 180 Project, seeking to bring Gods Kingdom to recovering alcoholics and addicts.
A number of St James’ Church are involved in The 180 Project in various ways. As well as Lindsey and Robin Middleton, Caroline Sagar is the full-time Chief Executive in The 180 Project and Mark Dyer is The 180 Project Chaplain, providing ongoing pastoral and spiritual support and giving people an opportunity to explore the Christian faith as part of the Spiritual wellness pillar of the 24 week programme. As well as working with individuals, this involves running 'Exploring Faith' sessions, and offering Alpha courses for The 180 Project participants, volunteers and staff. In addition, two discipleship groups have recently started to enable people to go deeper in their walk with Jesus, as well as a regular prayer meeting for The 180 Project. The vision is to establish a worshipping community based in the newly refurbished 180 Project premises at Delta Fox gym, the next step being to work towards a regular 'Sunday Service' in the gym