SMOKERS are being encouraged to quit the habit with fitness classes supported by firefighters.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has partnered with Quit4Life, the NHS stop smoking service, to offer a scheme to help people give up smoking while achieving a healthier lifestyle.
It is so rewarding watching the group taking positive control of their quit, and really throwing themselves into the exercises.Louise Fuller
The project, which was piloted in Rushmoor, has now started in Havant and is offering smokers a free 10-week course of support and treatment to stop smoking.
As part of the programme, the participants then get to take part in a fire service-led exercise classes with the firefighters.
After the success of the pilot project, the Quit and Get Fit scheme is being held at Havant fire station.
Station manager David Hodge said: ‘Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is excited to be able to work with Quit4Life in this new and innovative approach to helping people to quit smoking and increasing their fitness levels.
‘We have always had a goal to make Hampshire safer; however we are now working with partners to make the county healthier.’
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has been working with various partners in the health sector to deliver the NHS and Chief Fire Officers Association’s initiative ‘Fire as a Health Asset.’
The initiative’s aim is to use the skills and knowledge of the fire service to reduce the demand on health services in the area.
Louise Fuller is a specialist adviser at Quit4Life, run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, and helps run the weekly sessions.
She said: ‘We have a lovely group and as the advisors join in with the exercise programme too we really come together.
‘It is so rewarding watching the group taking positive control of their quit, and really throwing themselves into the exercises.
‘For me, watching the group grow more and more confident, and the whole positivity of the programme, is all part of why I love the job.’
For help to stop smoking visit quit4life.nhs.uk.