Free mental health awareness training

Free mental health awareness training for sports clubs and leaders

An initiative that has been set up to help people with mental health issues to take part in, and reap the benefits of  physical activity is offering training to local sports clubs and leaders to help them learn how to support people who struggle with their mental health. The free training on mental health awareness, delivered by mental health charilty MIND, will take place at the following venues:

Wentworth Leisure Centre in Hexham
Monday 24th September, 6-9pm

Cheviot Centre, Padgepool Place, WOOLER
Date: Monday 17 September, 6-9pm

The three-hour workshop is designed for coaches, sport administrators, volunteers and front of house staff. No prior knowledge of mental health is necessary.

Being Active Matters is an innovative project, funded by Sport England and Northumberland County Council which is being piloted in North and West Northumberland. It aims  to encourage people to get involved in sporting and physical activity with the aim of improving their mental wellbeing.

The scheme run by Talking Matters Northumberland is currently recruiting volunteers to become ‘buddies’ to support and encourage people to become physically active.

It now wants to  engage with sports and activity providers to work alongside the trained volunteers to welcome and support people in becoming active.

The practical workshop will help participants identify the positive impact that being active has on physical and mental health and appreciate the barriers that stop people getting active. It will also identify practical actions that can be made to make services more accessible for everyone. It will also help participants understand common misconceptions around mental health, help them talk confidently about mental health and know were to signpost people if they need extra support.

Gordon Allan, the Project Champion whose wife Sally took her own life on Boxing Day 2015, was responsible for the project idea and brought the partners together.

He said:

  “We know sport and exercise can have a really positive effect on mental as well as physical health.  However, that first step to becoming physically active can often be daunting particularly for individuals who may be anxious and lacking in self confidence."

“We would like to invite clubs that provide opportunities for people to be physically active - such as  walking and cycling clubs, yoga classes and sports clubs - to get in touch so we can help them understand how they can support and welcome people who struggle with their mental health.”

Gordon, who lives in Northumberland, was key in developing the successful £142,000 funding bid from Sport England to help deliver the project.  Northumberland County Council awarded a grant of £30,000 and further support has come from Northumberland Sport and Hexham and Alnwick Town Councils.

Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said:

“ As mental health awareness grows, we know that the benefits of sport and exercise are not just physical. Regular physical activity  is great for the mind and our mental health. It can improve mood, lift self-esteem and reduce stress.

“Active Northumberland is undertaking some really pioneering work to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of local residents and supporting this programme is another great example of this work.”

To book your place please email the following:

Wentworth Leisure Centre courseHelen Brown -
Cheviot Centre course - Karen Renner -

Please note numbers of places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. If you are unable to attend this session, but would still like to register your interest, please also contact Helen or Karen.



07 Aug 2018