Strengthening Communities

Abberton Rural Training

Supporting vulnerable adults

Abberton Rural Training (ART) were funded to run 2 mirrored projects in 2 locations in Essex, across the summer school holidays: one in Colchester and the other in Chelmsford. ART are an education-based charity working with vulnerable residents of all ages, to remove barriers, one of which they identified was physical activity.

The young people they are engaged with are vulnerable in many ways. From poor mental health to anti-social behaviour, this programme offered support for these young people, whilst not at school, and during the school holidays. Offering the provision of one day a week to their most vulnerable people over the 6-week break, had a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of those that attended, subsequently positively impacting on their friends, family and the wider community.

AE Whos it for
Who is it for?
Vulnerable and at-risk young people
AE Prime
Prime Objective:
to increase physical activity to improve wellbeing
AE Second
Second Objective:
to ensure provision was accessible during school holidays
We feel it has been important to provide support to young people over the holidays so we could monitor the level of their mental health. For a lot of the participants their own health & wellbeing is not high up on their list of priorities. I truly believe that a number of lives were saved due to the decrease in suicide risk for this very vulnerable group.
ART Charity Lead

The weekly summer group offered a range of activities such as walking, mindfulness and therapeutic gardening activities, helping to increase physical activity levels, establish conversations and help provide time for participants to socialise. After establishing a need to provide a physical activity element at their centres, the charity hoped it would provide the particularly vulnerable and at-risk individuals, a chance to participate in activities which taught them mindfulness.

Active Essex offered advice and guidance prior to the provision, helping support the group to access the Sport England Together Fund, enabling ART to facilitate the project. It was important for the charity to create a safe space for young people to socialise and get active, whilst also having access to a mental health counsellor.

of participants were living with a LTHC/Disability
of participants were male
of participants were inactive at the start
Without the support of the Abberton Rural over the summer, I don’t know if I would have survived. I have no friends or family, but ART gives me a reason to get through the week.