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Dorset Mind are proud to have been part of the ‘Get Set to Go Programme,’ which was possible due to funding awarded by Sport England and the National Lottery.

The programme was created to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems through access to sport and physical activity in their local community. With support from the funders, this programme helped to remove barriers that some of us face when we attempt to get active for our physical and mental health.

Throughout the Get Set to Go Programme, Dorset Mind has worked in partnership with Active Dorset, Dorset Race Equality Council and other sport/leisure providers. Their input has helped us develop and deliver welcoming and inclusive physical activity sessions for community members.

Get Set to Go Success Stories…

Surf and Yoga Course with Resurface

We are delighted to have partnered with Resurface to offer a unique and bespoke surf and yoga course for adults. This course included mindful surf lessons and Yoga practices to help improve the wellbeing of participants.

Sam, co-founder of Resurface Therapy said:

“Resurface had not yet begun running courses for people aged 30 years+ until our collaboration with Dorset Mind. By running this taster-course we have gained valuable insight into the demand, and intentions of a peer-support intervention of this nature for a new age bracket in Dorset. Importantly, with this, we’ve witnessed how an intervention of this nature (surf, yoga and cold water therapy) is experienced for older adults, and in particular, their wellbeing needs. Indeed, similar to our younger age groups, social belonging is of utmost importance and the cornerstone of Resurface. For example, several participants signified the need for escaping the mundane of daily life, living adventurously and trying new things, and connecting with like-minded people.

This new course has motivated and inspired us to continue in the same direction we set out when Resurface began. Yet develop Resurface’s member base and reach, to offer more people in the community an additional, and unique therapeutic tool for wellbeing.”

Images courtesy of Bill Measom

Walking Football Wellbeing Group – Gillingham

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

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.”

Online Physical Activity Sessions

Due to the pandemic, the Get Set to Go programme had to adapt methods of delivery. This led to the development of a variety of online activity sessions. Throughout this time, Dorset Mind worked with trainers from E-Motion Fitness Hub, Sammie Mcfarland Pilates and Wellbeing coach and Yoga teacher Sarah Bradshaw to offer a series of classes included Yoga, Pilates and gentle Stretch sessions.

A word from our Project Coordinator…

Dorset Mind’s Mental Health, Sport and & Physical Activity Project Coordinator Nicola, shares some thoughts after leading the Get Set to Go Programe:

“It has been a real privilege to lead the Get Set to Go at Dorset Mind. I’ve had the chance to use my passion for physical activity to build a programme that benefits community members by improving overall wellbeing.

Although delivery was impacted due to COVID-19, I am proud to have still been able to keep the programme going. We adapted our methods of delivery to provide people with the chance to be active. Online physical activity sessions have enabled people to remain connected, feel part of a group and add some activity/movement to their routine.

The success of Get Set to Go can be attributed to effective partnerships built and developed with groups/instructors/organisations in the physical activity sector. They’ve used their expertise, skills and knowledge to provide a varied and inclusive programme of activity sessions.

The link between our physical and mental health is so strong and something that will always be interlinked. Being active is a great way to boost our moods, improve self-confidence, reduce stress levels and overall, it makes us feel good!”

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