Wesport & BRASP bring health and wellbeing activities to those in temporary accommodation

by Caleb Thomas Uncategorised

In July 2022, Wesport and Voscur were successful in applying to Sport England’s Together Fund to incorporate physical activity opportunities into the newer temporary initial accommodation sites (TIAs) in the West of England. This funding meant Wesport could coordinate with the Bristol Refugee and Asylum Seeker Partnership (BRASP) to allow residents of the TIAs to lead more active lifestyles.

Bristol Mind have played a huge part in the success of this work through their day-to-day coordination with hotels, residents, and recruitment of participation in the fitness sessions. Regular drop-in sessions have been hosted at some of the hotels which has helped to inform Wesport of physical activities that were in demand. These drop-ins proved popular for residents to understand what additional opportunities are available to them beyond just physical activity.

Feedback from the residents showed that, walking, exploring the local area and fitness classes were a high priority for the residents. Wesport were able to utilise existing relationships with Soul Trail Wellbeing, Osprey Outdoors and Bridges for Communities to deliver expert and experienced nature wellbeing walks for the hotels. The benefits of these physical activity sessions and embracing nature has been particularly beneficial to people’s mental health and has allowed the hotel residents to experience the wider West of England area.

Since September 2022, fitness sessions have also been incorporated into the programme of activities, these have been delivered by Strength Based and 3C Mentor Me. Feedback has been extremely positive, the residents have enjoyed these sessions and they have aligned with what they requested.

Through the relationships built between Wesport, Voscur and the coordination from Bristol Mind, further connections and activities have been offered to broaden the physical activity offer for the residents. This includes supervised students from SGS College delivering exercise classes and also supporting the cost of wrestling classes at Trojan Gym. Beyond sport and physical activity, it has been reported that resident’s general feeling of wellbeing and happiness has increased.

These opportunities will continue to be on offer for residents until at least the end of September 2023 where the current funding period will finish and future options will be explored.

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about the author

Caleb Thomas

Project Officer (Community)