Levelling Up Health and Wellbeing

East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network

Taking lead on key mental health themes

As part of the East of England Mind Sport & Physical Activity Network, Active Essex took an active role, along with five other Active Partnerships in the region, to discuss key themes linked with mental health. As part of this role, the network held a Mental Health in Physical Activity conference, to provide learning and networking opportunities suitable for cross-sector colleagues who were interested in how sport and physical activity could be used to benefit people’s mental health.

As part of the conference, the Active Essex team shared the journey of the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Mental Wellbeing Hubs. They discussed the growth and development of the sessions since its conception, the impact the programme has had on the mental wellbeing of attendees and the strengthened relationships with locally trusted organisations across Essex.

HAF Whos it for
Who is it for?
Those interested in how physical activity can support mental health
HAF Prime
Prime Objective:
to connect the wider system and bring them on the journey
EA Second
Second Objective:
to share the successes and challenges of HAF Mental Wellbeing Hubs

Collaboratively working with the network to deliver the conference, helped ensure Active Essex could have greater awareness of the projects and initiatives taking place across the region. Having the ability to share the journey of the HAF Wellbeing Hubs helped provide important insight into replicating a similar model across other areas of the East region.

Attendees of the conference, were from across the system, ranging from grassroots organisations, charities, local authorities, and active partnerships, which enabled Active Essex to hear from others on their projects and initiatives. This included ‘All to Play For’ linked to men’s mental health with Active Norfolk to Sammy the Sea Squirt developed by Active Suffolk.

Key Learnings

It's important to take time to reflect and understand the learnings from work undertaken, in order to focus on ways to improve in the future.


Networking importance

Networks like this are important to raise awareness of mental health projects and initiatives


Role within the network

Success of the conference led to Active Essex agreeing to be a permanent partner of the network

Share and Learn

Importance of share & learn

Vital to share ideas around mental health projects with other partners in the network to adopt

registered individuals attended hybrid & in person
organisations involved in delivery of the conference
As a result of hearing the journey Active Essex have had around HAF Wellbeing, we have come away as a team to see how we can implement this in Hertfordshire, using the stipulated learnings and successes.
Herts Sports Partnership