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.
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.
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.
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
Importance of share & learn
Vital to share ideas around mental health projects with other partners in the network to adopt