A FORMER addict who overcame his demons has launched a new running club to get the people of St Helens back on their feet.

Following the death of his mum at a young age, Ste Boylan fell into a cocaine and alcohol addiction and was told that he would "end up dead" if he continued with his lifestyle.

After years of anxiety and depression, Ste decided to turn his life around and retrained as a youth worker and later as a private counsellor and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) specialist.

As Ste found running to be a particular salvation following his recovery from addiction and after the loss of his dad, he has now launched a 'Recovery Running Club' to help others in a similar situation get back on their feet.

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St Helens Star: Ste has used running as a way to overcome his own problemsSte has used running as a way to overcome his own problems (Image: Ste Boylan)
Ste, 44, said: "The reason for the club is because of my own struggles with addiction and mental health, and I have found running to be one of the best ways to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.

"That's why I wanted to offer people that extra bit of support and give them somewhere where they can meet others in a similar situation.

"The goal is to get everyone fitter but also offer that support network where people are being social and supporting one another."

St Helens Star: The Recovery Running Club has been taking place every Saturday morningThe Recovery Running Club has been taking place every Saturday morning (Image: Ste Boylan)
Launching the 'Recovery Running Club' at the start of the year, the club has had around ten runners come to the weekly Saturday morning events.

Starting from Ste's office on Boundary Road, there may only be a handful of runners so far, but the counsellor said there is a great atmosphere at the events and he has high hopes for where he can take the idea.

St Helens Star: Ste said there has been a great atmosphere at the eventsSte said there has been a great atmosphere at the events (Image: Ste Boylan)
Ste, who said his dream is to help others recover from addiction or mental health problems added: "Eventually, I'd like to get people to the point where they're feeling physically and mentally fitter and want to volunteer to help me grow the project and offer more events throughout the week.

"I'd also like to extend it into a running club for young people, who may have also struggled with mental health and addiction, or to use it as a way to prevent these kinds of things from happening."

With some of Ste's runners setting themselves the challenge to run the St Helens 10k next month, the counsellor is in the process of turning the Club into a Community Interest Company.

This will allow Ste to apply for funding to grow the project and keep it completely free for all who want to use it. A fundraising page to help with this can be found here.