To fully realise the potential of GM Moving for GM Recovery to support individual and collective physical and mental health both in the ‘here and now’ and in longer term.
For every £1 invested in sport and physical activity in England (financial and non-financial), £3.28 worth of social impact was created for individuals and society in 2017/18. The largest amount of social value (58.32%) was generated through mental wellbeing (£41.76bn).
What have we done?
- We focussed on mental wellbeing outcomes through Together Fund projects distributed from GreaterSport to local communities. We highlighted and shared insight and best practice on how moving and activity can benefit mental wellbeing, yet the process and approach to reaching the people and communities that need it most is critical (see case study).
- We supported the leadership Mental Wellbeing Group at Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership ensuring that GM Moving contributes to population health ambitions, provides alignment, and integrates narrative and evidence base around the benefits of physical activity to improving mental wellbeing. We provided the opportunity to share wider work, such as The Daily MileTM and the Walking festival.
- We worked with the regional North West Mind network to connect both physical activity to mental health services and vice versa. The purpose was to collectively work together to embed physical activity as a tool to help improve mental wellbeing, such as providing training opportunities with physical activity to the workforce in order to help educate people around mental health awareness within their setting or organisation.
The Together Fund aims to enhance physical and mental wellbeing by improving processes and opportunities for communities that need it most.
The Together Fund is a Sport England fund, which GreaterSport distribute in Greater Manchester. The overall aim is to help reduce the negative impact the pandemic and the widening inequalities on active lives as a result of the impact of lockdown. Improving physical and mental wellbeing is part of the project outcomes.
Through phase three, which took place in 2021-22, the approach funded 18 projects and challenged the way we distribute funding. More can be read about this on the evaluation page[LB8] [HM9] .
One of the groups funded was Bury Basketball Alliance who were keen to include a mental wellbeing aspect in their session. The idea was to run the basketball sessions, then hold wellbeing sessions for both those competing and the wider audience after the basketball sessions.[HM9]
However, they held an open conversation with the men who said they would be more comfortable with an online presence, rather than finishing the basketball sessions and moving into a more formal setting around tables to talk. As such, Bury Basketball Alliance run the basketball sessions on a Friday evening and created a Facebook group, inviting players to join. Content is added weekly and conversations online are due to take place.
In addition, one of the directors opened up conversations with men during the sessions, asking open questions and prompting conversation about wellbeing during breaks in play to help men feel engaged and comfortable talking.
One participant said; "It’s good to have something to look forward to that’s ‘me time’ and knowing a lot of the other lads feel that way is good too."