We are so delighted to have welcomed the wonderful Sport In Mind to Connect Reading!
Calum Pettitt, Sport In Mind’s Service Coordinator, took some time to answer some questions and tell us all about Sport in Mind and how we can connect with all they’re doing.
Spotlight On: Sport In Mind
Sport in Mind is an independent multi-award-winning mental health charity, formed in Reading in 2010 with a simple mission: “To improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems through sport and physical activity”
We are the UK’s leading mental health sports charity and deliver physical activity (sport, walking, dance and movement, gardening and exercise sessions) projects in partnership with the amazing NHS in order to aid recovery, promote mental wellbeing, improve physical health, combat social isolation and empower people to move their lives forward in a positive direction.
Why did you join Connect Reading?
We are hoping to engage with as many people as possible, whether that is; potential participants, volunteers, coaches, health professionals or local businesses! If we can connect with the local community in as many ways as possible, we can help build awareness around mental health and in turn support many more people.
What was your biggest challenge last year?
Without a doubt, not delivering our usual sessions. We have adapted the way we engage individuals and began sending out activity packs and bullet journals designed to help people stay active and recognise the benefits of regular exercise. The team have worked incredibly hard to support people experiencing mental health problems in the absence of our regular sessions and we have our fingers crossed that we are on the way back to normality!
What have you learned?
We have learnt that the need for human interaction is greater than ever. Sport is a brilliant natural icebreaker, with a lot of opportunities for encouragement and praise – we are really excited to deliver our activities again and play a role in helping people make friends, have fun, and enjoy sport and exercise!
What has been your biggest creative triumph as an organisation?
I’d say the way we deliver our sessions. Our ethos of delivery has never changed and is focused on the individual and their needs – if someone wants to attend one of our sessions, they are free to do so without pressure, judgement, or barriers. Attendees at our sessions know that our staff, coaches, and volunteers will be friendly, encouraging, and welcoming and make sure they are getting support they need to fully engage in the session – and feel the benefits of physical activity on their mental health, of course!
What are you most looking forward to?
Delivering sessions again! It will be such a great feeling to see a wider range of activities again and more engagement. It has been a long while, and we can’t wait to get started!
How can people connect with you and support what you’re doing?
I’d recommend going to our website www.sportinmind.org – there you will be able to find information about which sessions are running, volunteer and fundraising opportunities, and about which exciting campaigns we have coming up! We can also be contacted via social media @sportinmind via email firstname.lastname@example.org by phone 07341267740