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Walking for Wellbeing

We are delighted to announce that the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership has been awarded £81,000 from Sport England’s Tackling Inactivity and Disadvantage Fund to set up a Walking for Wellbeing project. The project will run for three years from March 2019 to April 2022.

The Walking for Wellbeing Project will be creating walking groups specifically aimed to engage inactive people with severe and enduring mental health conditions from low socio-economic areas such as Barton, Littlemore, Rose Hill, Blackbird Leys, Northfield Brook and Banbury. It will do this by providing an accessible form of exercise tailored to the current activity level of participants, leaving from locations that service users already access (such as mental health wards, specialist housing projects, wellbeing centres and community locations).

The project will run in Oxford city initially, expanding to Banbury in years two and three. The aim is to set up 37 groups and engage 228 participants per year.

It is not envisioned as a replication or expansion of existing walking groups, but rather as a bridging service, aiming to build confidence and motivation so that service users feel able to engage in mainstream physical activity offers.

The project will also build on the peer support model, whereby people with lived experience help and support one another. Each group will initially be led by the Walking for Wellbeing Project Facilitator but will be handed over to a volunteer Wellbeing Walk Leader, with the hope that the majority of would be recruited from group participants. As well as leading the group, walk leaders will provide encouragement and support to participants and distribute wellbeing information on topics around the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.

For further information please contact walking@oxfordshiremind.org.uk or call 01865 263 730.

Oxfordshire Mind will be facilitating this project on behalf of the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership.