A GYM in Westbury has teamed up with Wiltshire Council to launch a new fitness programme for young offenders to get their lives back on track.

The extensive eight-week training and development programme, which teaches how to weight lift, is designed for young people who have been referred to the youth offending team as a result of court orders, and are not in education or employment.

The programme aims to keep young offenders off the streets and give them something positive to focus on as well as improve their fitness.

Alistair Mogel, who works for Wiltshire council’s youth offending team, has the job of finding educational placements, activity schemes or training for young people who are not currently in education, training or employment.

After struggling to find an appropriate fitness course, he fashioned his own.

Mr Mogel said: “I have spent a while looking for local fitness schemes for young people like the guys I work with and struggled so I decided to make my own. I approached a gym in Westbury, Ironworx and met the owner, Lee to discuss my idea.

“The young men currently have no training or qualifications and will now receive 1.5 hours of exercise and training for eight weeks, free of charge.

“I believe this is a very good opportunity which Lee has created for young people who have had troubled or disadvantaged pasts.”

Lee Salter, owner of Ironworx gym, said: “We wanted to create a project at our facility where we can help groups of people see and feel the benefit of a well structured programme within the fitness industry.

“Being able to help the youngsters on this level is something we are very passionate about and would love to see one of them go onto taking nationally recognised qualifications within the industry and help steer them towards employment.”

Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for children, education and skills, said: “The first session was the culmination of a lot of work, planning and engagement from young people. The project is potentially a very positive influence on the young people.

“The gym owner, and the council’s area boards which supplied the funding, deserve recognition for creating this new opportunity.”