Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Welcome to the Community Sport and Recreation Awards 2024: Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Award celebrates clubs/programmes which use the power of sport and recreation to promote and enhance positive wellbeing, and are ambassadors for promoting good health and wellbeing policies. It’s well known that participating in sport, recreation and physical activity improves your mental health and wellbeing, and we think it’s important to recognise those initiatives that directly focus on this.

Entries for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award are now open - please submit your nomination using the form below:

You can find out more about last year's finalists here:

Blackdog Outdoors

Established in 2018, Blackdog Outdoors is a charity that provides free outdoor adventure to those affected by poor mental health, to improve wellbeing. One of the key aims of the events they run is to create a safe, supportive space where people can talk about their mental health issues.

These events include, but are not limited to: paddle sports, hill walking, outdoor climbing and abseiling, indoor bouldering, navigation tuition, and online yoga sessions. There are Mental Health First Aiders at events, as well as other participants, and it is hoped that rather than being a counselling service, the environment helps to normalise conversations about mental health.

Participants are also helped by having the chance to explore the positive benefits of being outdoors and reconnecting with nature.

Burnley FC in the Community

The Schools’ Mental Wellbeing Project is one of Burnley FC in the Community’s flagship programmes – the aim of which is to support children’s mental wellbeing by having a full-time Mental Wellbeing Worker from the organisation in schools across Burnley and Pendle.

From January 2019 to February 2021, 4,457 hours of support have been delivered to 1,049 students. Numerous first-team players from Burnley FC have also been involved with the project, including Aaron Lennon and Ben Mee, which has helped to break down the stigma among the schoolchildren of talking about their mental health issues.

Across the first two years of delivering the programme, it has grown rapidly, and the feedback received Burnley FC in the Community have received demonstrates the difference they are making to young people’s lives.

Scunthorpe RUFC

After three playing members of the club took their own lives within a calendar year, a group of dedicated individuals involved in Scunthorpe RUFC came together to create an initiative called ‘Tackling it Together’.

The initiative involved increased levels of pastoral support for club members, as well as signposting to professional help if there was anyone struggling with mental health. The club also offered financial support for this help, or any issues where members were struggling financially, to reduce the stress burden. There is a quarterly training meeting where professionals from a range of different backgrounds come to the club to advise on mental health issues and talk to players.

The club have trained over 20 Mental Health First Aiders in recognising both adult and junior mental health issues.

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