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Dorset Mind has been awarded funding by Sport England and The National Lottery to deliver the ‘Get Set to Go’ programme. The programme aims to improve the quality of life for anyone with a mental health problem through access to sport and physical activity in their local community. With support from the funders, this programme helps remove barriers that some of us face when we attempt to get active for our physical and mental health.

Dorset Mind works closely with Active Dorset, Dorset Race Equality Council and other sports/leisure providers to deliver welcoming and inclusive sports/physical activity sessions for community members. The programme includes taster sessions that give people the chance to try out various activities and several 12-week group programmes of activity. These will take place across Dorset.

If you would like to find out more about ‘Get Set to Go’, please email Nicola Whitehead on

Volunteer for us…

Dorset Mind want to recruit Peer Volunteers to help us support participants taking part in the physical activity sessions. This rewarding position will encourage individuals to enjoy their physical activity journey. Our volunteers will get them to fully appreciate the benefits of physical activity and the positive impact it can have on their mental health.

If you feel you are able to offer support to people taking part in this programme and would like to find out more, please email Nicola Whitehead at

Walking Football Wellbeing Group – Gillingham:

5 older men playing walking football, with their coach   3 Representatives from Dorset FA, Dorset Mind and Gillingham Town FC

Dorset Mind successfully delivered a Walking Football Wellbeing 12-week programme at RiversMeet Leisure Centre in Gillingham. It was delivered in partnership with Gillingham Town FC and Dorset County FA. The photo shows Grant Smith (Dorset County FA Coach) and Alan Dennett (Director/Groundsman at Gillingham Town FC). Our Sport and Exercise Lead Nicola Whitehead, is central.

Most weeks, participants were able to play either 5 or 6 a-side games. These sessions enabled people to come together to playing walking football – with the aim to improve their wellbeing. Gillingham Town FC have continued to run this group after the taster sessions finished.

Alan Dennett (pictured above on right) from Gillingham Town Football Club said:

“I run the Walking Football sessions in Gillingham under the Gillingham Football Club name. The programme is brilliant for ex-footballers and other people in the community. We are getting 30+ people each week over two sessions, I love running it.”

Paul Hill, also from Gillingham Town Football club adds:

“We were looking to see what else we could provide for the local community, and came across Walking football. We spoke to Dorset FA, more or less at the same time as Dorset Mind asked about Walking Football as part of their programme. It made perfect sense to join forces to try this, with Dorset FA also helping. The sessions were to run for 12 weeks. We were up to 15 players per session, so started another in the evening. Very quickly we were up to averaging 15 players for both sessions. The response has far exceeded our expectations. What we have found is that there is a huge demand for this sport, and all ages enjoy playing it.”

‘Warrior Workouts’

We’re working with Sister Tama (a revered community leader), Urban Health and Fitness in Boscombe and Dorset Race Equality Council to provide a 12-week men’s fitness programme. This programme is currently on hold due to the pandemic and will resume when it is safe to do so.

Upcoming programmes:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our ‘Get Set to Go’ programmes have been put on hold. As restrictions begin to lift and we begin to slowly return to a more ‘normal’ way of working, we hope to provide a variety of opportunities for people to get involved with.

Throughout the ‘Get Set to Go Programme’, we have developed positive partnerships with Urban Health and Fitness, E-motion Fitness Hub, Gillingham Town FC, Dorset FA, Poole Muddy Runners, Muddy Runners and Resurface.

Please see below for an insight into what we have been working on:

  • #RunAndTalk Mindful Running Programme – Working in partnership with Poole Muddy Runners and Muddy Runners, plans for a unique 12-week #RunAndTalk Mindful Running Programme have been developed. The group focus on mindfulness and running for better mental health, which will lead on to building running confidence. All sessions will be led by qualified UKA/EA leaders and Mental Health Champions.
  • Resurface – Alongside Resurface in Bournemouth, we’ve developed a bespoke 12-week surf/yoga therapy taster programme. These sessions begin on September 27th 2020 and  includes mindful surf lessons, yoga and social opportunities. Places on this programme are limited and if this sounds like something you would be interested in and would like to find out more, please contact Nicola at

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