A successful campaign to boost children's mental health by getting more active is beginning its third year, after helping hundreds of youngsters across Gloucestershire to feel more confident and happy.
Active Gloucestershire began 'Activity on Referral' in 2020 and has since seen 320 young people referred into the programme from across the county.
The programme, which works together with local community organisations, provides young people with access to a diverse range of activities that foster social connection, fun and many opportunities to develop resilience.
Anyone from teachers to carers to parents can refer children to the scheme, which uses activity to help release happy hormones and offer social connection with others.
Youngsters who take part find that moving their body helps to move worries in their mind and it's been highly successful with 74 per cent completing their referral.
Active Gloucestershire's children’s and young people’s mental health lead, Lisa Kankowski, said: 'Young people are at the heart of what we do and what matters to them shapes the activity. Supporting young people who are struggling with their mental health to access these opportunities and feel the benefits of physical activity on their health and wellbeing is very meaningful work.'
'Activity on Referral' recognises the significance of physical activity as one of the five pillars of wellbeing.
One of the coaches from Truth Boxing which takes part in the scheme said: 'You see the young people change over time. You see their confidence improve, their body language changes, they change as people. It’s just really rewarding to see the changes in them.'
Participation in 'Activity on Referral' is entirely voluntary and the program funds the first 12 weeks of activity thanks to Gloucestershire’s Integrated Care Board.
After this period, participants may choose to continue with the activity provider and become a paying member.
For more information about 'Activity on Referral' visit wecanmove.net.