5th September 2018
Bath Mind is using the power of sport to tackle mental health problems
getting activemental healthhealth and wellbeingactive community

A mental health charity in B&NES has been awarded funding by Sport England and the National Lottery to help people to try new sports and activities to help improve their physical and mental health.

Through this work, Bath Mind will be supporting people experiencing mental health problems – such as depression and anxiety – to build their confidence to join sports clubs, go to the gym or take up a new sport such as badminton, yoga, volleyball, zumba, judo or swimming, to name a few.

People with mental health problems who have taken part in an earlier pilot phase of the Get Set to Go programme say that it not only increased their activity levels over a 12-month period, but also helped them feel more resilient and better able to cope with challenging life events. The hope is that people in the B&NES area will benefit from this new phase of Get Set to Go.

The Get Set to Go programme, launched in 2015. In the past three years, more than 3,500 people with mental health problems have benefited and tried out new activities in a relaxed and friendly environment. An independent research team from Loughborough University conducted a two-year study which showed that 78% of people rated it as very good or excellent after just 6 months.

In this new phase of the programme, Mind aims to support over 120,000 people with mental health problems across the country to be more active through its work in communities and partners in the sport sector.

Ailsa Eaglestone, New Business Manager from Bath Mind says, “We are very excited to be delivering the Get Set to Go Project in B&NES alongside our key partners. Everyone is welcome to take part and we are going to work with the Muslim and Syrian community, older people, self-employed and stressed business people as well as postnatally depressed parents. Being active and keeping fit is well proven to boost mental wellbeing. We have lots of exciting taster sessions happening soon and there will always be someone to talk to for support throughout the project. We are in the early stages of planning and also recruiting peer volunteers who will support people to get active, so if you want to be involved please do get in touch.”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said: “We know that physical activity can play a vital role in the lives of people with mental health problems, reducing the risk of depression by up to 30%. Unfortunately we also know that many people who do want to participate in sport are being held back by their mental health, whether that’s feelings of low self-confidence, exhaustion or fear of crowded spaces.

“The findings of the first phase of the Get Set to Go programme shows us that it works as a model, improving participants’ resilience and building their support networks. We are therefore delighted to have received funding from Sport England and the National Lottery to build on this and support even more people with mental health problems to become more physically active.”

Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Executive Director for Community Sport, said:

 “We are delighted to partner with Mind and invest National Lottery funding to enable Minds in communities across the country to bring the benefits of sport and activity to people with mental health problems. We urge everyone working in the sport and physical activity sector to learn from Get Set to Go and make their own services more accessible, supportive and welcoming to all.”

Bath Mind will be working closely with partners such as Virgin Care, the Public Health Team, B&NES Council Healthy Lifestyles Team and Active Lifestyles Team, The Volunteer Centre, Wesport (The West of England Sports Partnership) and others to deliver community sessions and to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment within local sport and leisure facilities.

As part of this work, they will be offering free Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity (MHASPA) training to sport sector staff, which has been developed with UK Coaching.

They will train Peer Volunteers, who understand how mental health problems can be a barrier to getting more active, to support participants to attend Get Set to Go sessions and try out different activities in their community.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about being a peer volunteer, please contact 01225 316 199 or come to the Thoughtful Bread Company on 29th August at 3pm.

Bath Mind will be running a number of taster sessions over the coming months where you can try out different activities and see what suits you. Bath Mind are also planning on running 12 week programmes from the early spring, so if you’re interested in taking part, more details can be found by contacting outreach2@bathmind.org.uk

Taster sessions are taking place on the following dates and times:

Mix n match - Try badminton, volleyball, yoga, hockey, football…

  • 28th August
  • 25th September
  • 30th October
  • 27th November
  • 18th December


7.45pm-8.45pm, Twerton Village Hall


Mindfulness Monday – mixed keep fit & movement

24th September 10am-1pm, Twerton Village Hall


Ladies only swimming

26th September 7-8pm, Culverhay Leisure Cente


World Mental Health Day

10th October 10-12 - Mosque for mixed keep fit and movement

2-4 Twerton Village Hall


About Bath Mind.

For more information, interviews and case studies please contact Hannah Roper on hannahroper@bathmind.org.uk

We’re Bath Mind, the mental health charity. … We are here to make sure everyone experiencing mental ill health in Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) and Wiltshire has somewhere to turn to for information, advice and support.

  • Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case. Get set to Go is England’s first large scale programme to help people with mental health problems overcome the barriers to taking up a sport so they feel more confident about participating. The project has been designed in collaboration with people living with mental health problems and offer group peer support, taster sessions and structured programmes to help people make physical activity a part of their everyday lives. Mind, the mental health charity, funds Get Set to Go and has secured £3 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England, since the programme was launched in 2014.For more information visit www.mind.org.uk/sport


  • About Get Set to Go