As part of the Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 Active Cumbria signed the Mental Health Charter for Sport & Recreation confirming their commitment to raising awareness about mental health issues and to embed mental health within the local sector, creating a culture shift that removes the stigma around mental health. The team backed this commitment with training, all team members in Active Cumbria have completed Level 1 Mental Health Awareness Training delivered by one of the Local MIND organisations. Many of the team members have gone on attend further training, such as, the Self Harm and Suicide Awareness Courses.
Active Cumbria now focuses on mental health in all the work that they do. One of their biggest achievements to date was helping to secure a £600,000 Lottery Grant in a joint bid for the Improving Emotional Resilience project working with partners including Cumbria Youth Alliance, Cumbria County Council's children's services department and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The project works with young people in Allerdale, Copeland and Barrow to help them improve their emotional resilience, confidence and self-esteem. This project is all about bringing different agencies together to develop a joined up approach to young people’s emotional wellbeing. It is a great opportunity for partners to work together to achieve a lasting impact for young people in Cumbria.
Russell Maddams, Development Officer within Active Cumbria was seconded to lead on the project three days per week whilst retaining some duties within Active Cumbria. Russell said:
“The project has a number of elements, sport and recreation being one of those, it’s important for us to recognise the positive benefits sport and activity has on mental health, but also how negative experiences of sport and activity can really turn young people off. We also want young people to see sport and recreation as a career choice”.
In partnership with Cumbria Youth Alliance and Streetgames, Active Cumbria are running twelve Mental Health First Aid Lite courses throughout the County to train coaches and youth workers to recognise the symptoms of poor mental health, know how to approach the subject and where to go for help to create a network of support in youth settings.
Cumbria Youth Alliance have also teamed up with Chris Wright Sports services to commission the delivery of their Chance Camp offer into secondary schools and youth settings in Allerdale to train young people as coaches, managers and officials so they can support delivery of sport and physical activity to their peers.
In addition to the above, Active Cumbria have worked with local Inspira (a leading career management and personal development organisation) to launch a Leisure package to train unemployed young people over a six week programme to ensure they are work ready for employment in the Leisure Industry. The package includes safeguarding, First Aid, Gym Instructor and much more.
The latest development in their quest to deliver the principles of the Charter, in April 2019 Active Cumbria became a joint partner working alongside Carlisle & Eden MIND and Carlisle United’s Football in the Community Trust following a successful bid to secure investment as one of the Phase 2 ‘Get Set to Go’ national schemes. To support this project a member of the team has recently received orientation training to allow them to go onto deliver the new Mental Health Awareness Sport and Physical Activity Course across the county.