Rushden charity using power of sport to tackle mental health
A mental health charity in Rushden has been awarded funding by Sport England and the National Lottery to help people try new sports and activities to help improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
Through this work, Rushden Mind will be supporting people experiencing mental health problems – such as depression and anxiety – to build their confidence to join sports clubs, go to the gym or take up a new activity such as swimming, basketball and cycling.
The Get Set to Go programme launched in 2015 and since then more than 3,500 people have benefited and tried out new activities in a relaxed and friendly environment.
An independent research team from Loughborough University conducted a two-year study which showed that 78 per cent of people rated it as very good or excellent after just six months.
Rushden Mind CEO Sherry Adams said: "We're are absolutely delighted to have received funding from Sport England and the National Lottery to enable us to bring the Get Set to Go programme to East Northamptonshire.
"Physical activity can play a vital role in reducing the risk of depression while increasing health and wellbeing.
"Unfortunately, we know that many people can be deterred from participating due to their mental health.
"Rushden Mind will be delivering Get Set To Go with support from a range of fantastic partners, and we look forward to supporting more people with mental health problems in the area to enjoy the benefits of getting more active."
People who have taken part in the programme say that it not only increased their activity levels over a 12-month period but also helped them feel more resilient and better able to cope with challenging life events.
In the latest phase of the programme, Mind aims to support more than 120,000 people with mental health problems across the country to be more active through its work in communities and partners in the sports sector.
The charity will be working closely with partners such as Northamptonshire Sport, East Northamptonshire Council, Freedom Leisure, Northampton Town FC Community Trust and England Netball, to deliver community sessions and to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment within sport and leisure facilities.
As part of this work, they will be offering Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity (MHASPA) training to sports sector staff, which has been developed with UK Coaching.
Peer volunteers who understand how mental health problems can be a barrier to getting more active will be trained so they can support participants to attend Get Set to Go sessions and try out different activities.
Rushden Mind will be running a number of taster sessions over the coming months where people can try out different activities and see what suits them.
Rushden Mind is also planning on running a range of 12-week sports and activity programmes.
More details will be available via www.rushdenmind.org.uk/get-set-to-go/ or by contacting Rushden Mind or 01933 312800.