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#Just Turn Up to Feel Good

“The Wellbeing Hub”

A brand new social activity session for mental health and wellbeing


Since March 2015, Bedford Borough Council’s Sport Development Team have been running a ‘Just Turn Up’ programme to help people access affordable, local physical activity. Now, the Just Turn Up initiative has set up a brand new arrangement which is set to offer the local community a place to go to improve their mental wellbeing through physical activity.


Bedford Borough Council’s Sport Development Team has partnered with Bedfordshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Services, which are provided by East London Foundation NHS Trust (ELFT), Mind and Mind in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (Mind BLMK) to design the bespoke sporting sessions via a ‘Wellbeing Hub’ for people experiencing conditions such as generalised anxiety disorder, eating disorders, panic attacks and stress.


The Wellbeing Hub, in the activities room, on the 3rd floor of Bedford Central Library, will initially offer two core sports; yoga and table tennis. There will also be a social walk once a month. The sessions will start on Wednesday 2 March, from 1pm – 3pm - and then every Wednesday, for 16 weeks. Further sports and activities may be added in the future.


Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Public Health at Bedford Borough Council, said: “We all know that being physically active is good for our bodies, but our physical health and mental health are closely linked. Often, when people feel isolated, the thought of taking part in sporting activities can be daunting. The new sessions are designed by mental health professionals and supported by volunteers with lived experience of mental health to support people to feel comfortable in taking part.”


Participants do not need to have a diagnosis to attend the session as the session is designed to support those who have personally recognised that they may be experienced issues with mental wellbeing. Following research and a pilot scheme with Mind and ELFT, this new Wellbeing Hub has been designed to support people to feel comfortable getting out and getting active with other people.


The #Just Turn Up programme is funded through Sport England’s CSAF programme and the National Lottery funding which has helped local people get into new sports and participate in a flexible and informal way.


Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Exercise programmes and other treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness have been shown to improve anxiety and depression, and quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. Other non-active elements of this programme will be introduced to our libraries, and other services, in support of these sessions.”


#Just Turn Up team activities will be relaxed and informal and those taking part will be encouraged to do so at their own pace.


It is £2 a day for the #Just Turn Up sessions - for as much, or as little, as someone wants to take part in. No booking is required and places are offered on a first come first served basis. For more information on Just Turn Up’s Wellbeing Hub, contact Community Sports Activator, Robert Lindsay, on 01234 718825 or email robert.lindsay@bedford.gov.uk


Activity programme:

1pm – 2pm: Group Yoga

2pm – 2.15pm: Refreshments

2.15pm – 3pm: Social Table Tennis

Participants are welcome to bring a family member, friend or social worker


Partners in the #Just Turn Up ‘Wellbeing Hub’ programme include:

Table Tennis England

ELFT East London Foundation Trust

Mind- BMLK – Mind UK

Ben Salmond – Tackle the Stigma

Bedfordshire Libraries

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