Last year, a challenging time for the whole world and our county, the GBA Awards recognised the fantastic contribution of local individuals and organisations to the mental and physical wellbeing of Berkshire residents. The 'Berkshire physical activity lockdown hero', a campaign celebrating the 9th GBA Awards' winners on BBC Radio Berkshire and social media, united residents, communities and activity providers around the joy and importance of physical activity and helped keep spirits high in the county during the winter lockdown.
This year, as we are recovering from the pandemic, the 10th GBA Awards will continue recognising individuals and organisations that contributed to a healthier and more resilient Berkshire. There is one award category – the 'Berkshire physical activity hero'.
Peter is a volunteer for Sport in Mind, a mental health sports charity that delivers physical activity projects in partnership with the NHS to aid recovery, promote mental wellbeing, improve physical health, combat social isolation, and empower people to move their lives forward in a positive direction.
From sending out weekly emails and certificates during lockdown to welcoming people as a session leader for their Wellbeing Walks, Peter has been a valuable member of the team. Since beginning the walk in 2017, Peter has devoted his time each week to cultivating a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment for attendees - many of whom are experiencing severe and enduring mental health problems. His wellbeing walk has developed into a space which has seen the attendees build confidence, make friends, and expand support networks - all while improving their physical and mental health.
Peter said: " I was accessing Sport in Mind myself as a carer four years ago and the idea of a walk was discussed, I remember saying at the time if we could get ten walkers to join us would be amazing. Now we regularly get double that number and more. The group and myself have had a really tough year and that on top of the pandemic as well. The group itself is fantastic we have grown into a close knit friendship group and this has become a really important and regular point of contact for many members. New walkers to the group are met with a kind and friendly greeting with a guaranteed warm welcome (even on cold days). Sport in Mind is such a Marvellous charity with its relaxed approach to activities allowing everyone an opportunity to join in no matter their level of ability. I was very surprised to hear about this award and very humbled and would extremely proud to accept the award on behalf of the group as everyone makes this group so special."
"If we at Sport in Mind were able to go into a lab and design the perfect volunteer - we would create Peter Slade. It is a pleasure to work with Peter, he is a credit to Sport in Mind, Berkshire, and to himself. In fact, despite starting a new job very recently - he has managed to swing still leading our walk each week, which was very exciting news for not only the walkers - but the team at Sport in Mind too" – Calum Pettitt, Volunteer Coordinator