15 August 2020
Top award for mental health sports programme
A sports programme that aims to help prevent people with mental
health conditions from becoming socially isolated, and uses
physical exercise to improve health and wellbeing, has scooped a
top Football Association award.
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust's
Recovery Through Sport programme has been named the winner of the
Project of the Year Award at the Gloucestershire Football
Association and McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards 2020.
The programme, which is run by the Trust's Early Intervention in
Psychosis Team in South Gloucestershire, was set up to improve the
physical and mental wellbeing of people with mental health
Jacob Kelly, Mental Health Support Worker, who runs the Recovery
Through Sport programme, said: "We are delighted to have won this
award in recognition of the positive work we are doing to provide
opportunities to take part in physical activity to improve mental
health. It's well known that exercise and physical activity can
have a positive impact on mental health and this is certainly the
experience of the participants in this programme.
Before the pandemic, the group had been meeting weekly to play
football, make contact with others and talk about their mental
However, during lockdown the sessions continued online,
with high profile sporting stars and other celebrities joining the
sessions to talk about their mental health and provide inspiration
for the group.
Dan, who attends the Recovery Through Sport sessions, said:
"Playing with a group of people who all have problems but come
together to support each other through the sport programme has
definitely had a major impact on my wellbeing and my health. It has
helped me on the road to recovery to gain confidence and
Jason Lee, Football Development Officer (Disability), at
Gloucestershire Football Association, said: "The 2019-20 season
will be remembered as a difficult year for football and the wider
society. With all that's occurred it's great we still have the
opportunity to be able to recognise and celebrate the hard work
from all those involved in making grassroots football an
environment which is fun, inclusive and enjoyable for
"Gloucestershire FA is extremely proud to be able to support the
AWP Recovery Through Sport Programme and is very much looking
forward to continuing this when football returns. Great credit must
be given to Jacob, Bob and the rest of their colleagues for the
ingenuity they have shown in responding to the suspension of
football by developing the Recovery Through Sport online sessions.
This accolade is testament to the hard work of everyone involved
with the AWP NHS Programme. We look forward to supporting them with
their on-going work."
This year the Gloucestershire Football Association and
McDonald's Grassroots Football Award winners were announced on
social media due to the pandemic.