East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network
Building relationships between sport, physical activity and mental health, and sharing good practice across the East of England network
In November 2019, the mental health charity Mind announced the launch of nine new Regional Networks to help more people with mental health problems engage in physical activity. By linking up local organisations across the physical activity, mental health and charity sectors Mind hopes its Regional Networks will support sport and physical activity organisations to be more inclusive of people with mental health problems.
The Regional Network's work to increase the number of groups in their region who are equipped with the skills to support and engage people with mental health problems in physical activity. They offer training, toolkits and resources, as well as providing a platform for networking and sharing best practice to build stronger relationships between organisations.
Every Regional Network is led by a Hub (lead organisation), with one based in each of the nine English government regions. They receive support and funding from Mind. Hubs have autonomy and responsibility for designing, delivering and implementing their Regional Network.
Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity at Mind, said:
We know that physical and mental health go hand in hand, and it is now well-established that being more physically active can have real benefits to our mental health. Yet despite this, many people with mental health problems face barriers to getting active, ranging from fears about physical appearance or being intimidated by going to the gym, to finding it hard to get out of the house. The good news is that, by upskilling staff and volunteers across the sport and physical activity sector, we can begin to break down some of these barriers. We hope that the Regional Networks will help bring about real change in the sector that leads to more people with mental health problems feeling able to get more active.
More information about Mind’s Regional Networks.
Organisations not from the East of England that are interested in getting involved with their nearest Regional Network should email email@example.com.
Mind Regional Network Hub for the East of England
The Herts Sport & Physical Activity Partnership continues to be the Mind Regional Network Hub for the East of England.
The Herts Sport & Physical Activity Partnership has been the Regional Network Hub since Mind launched the programme in 2019. Known locally as the East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network, the network comprises of the six Active Partnerships in the East Region. The network works collaboratively to achieve objectives set by Mind:
- Utilise and promote Mind’s Universal Offer (e.g. training, toolkits and resources)
- Build relationships between sport, physical activity and mental health organisations
- Share best practice and relevant Mind updates
- Support the scoping around Mind’s strategic priority audiences, in particular people fighting poverty and racialised communities
- Help Mind with requests for support within their region
Tom Horey, HSP Health Officer, commented on the work of the network:
“The Herts Sport & Physical Activity Partnership and wider East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network are very aware of the significant impact mental health conditions can have on people. However, we also know how valuable involvement in sport and physical activity can be in helping to counteract this. As Mind’s East of England Regional Network Hub, we are passionate advocates for this in Hertfordshire and the wider region. We want to break down barriers to those with mental health concerns that may be reluctant to be involved in activity while ensuring those running activities have sufficient knowledge around the impact of mental health to provide the necessary support.”
If you work for an organisation that could contribute to the objectives of the East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network and are interested in joining, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the Network's inception, we have run a series of learning and networking opportunities. These events have sought to develop the sector's confidence when discussing how sport and physical activity can be used to benefit people’s mental health, as well as improve understanding of how opportunities can be delivered to be inclusive to those living with poor mental health. Most recently we ran our 2023 East of England Mental Health in Sport and Physical Activity Conference.
Some of these networking events were held online and recorded. You can watch these back on our East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network YouTube Playlist.
The East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network produce a monthly newsletter. Make sure you have signed up to receive updates on the network's work, information on upcoming events, available mental health training and mental health updates from the sector.
The East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network have launched the Mental Health Champions programme to support people involved in sport and physical activity to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to better understand and support people at their clubs or sessions, who are living with mental health conditions.
You can find out more about the programme and what you will receive as a Mental Health Champion in this project leaflet.
You can sign up to become a Mental Health Champion by completing this form.
As well as their work as part of the network the other five Active Partnerships are working to connect mental health with physical activity in the Counties they operate. You can find out more about their respective work on each of their websites:
- Active Environments
- Active Lives
- Active Local
- Club Advocate Group
- Coach Education Week
- Disability Sport Organisations in Hertfordshire
- East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network
- Fit, Fed & Read
- Herts Mini Movers
- junior parkrun
- Live Longer Better in Hertfordshire
- Live Longer Better in Hertfordshire Champions
- Long COVID and Physical Activity
- Moving More Activity Finder
- Opening Schools Facilities
- Opportunities Fund
- Park Play
- Supporting Sustainable Sport in Hertfordshire
- The Daily Mile
- Together Fund
- We Are Undefeatable in Herts
Get in touch…
For more information on the MIND Regional Network contact Tom Horey: email@example.com