Posted: Mon, 22 Jul 2019 09:57
The Royal Borough's Sports Development Team and Magpies in the Community joined forces and delivered a project which focused on using physical activity to improve and raise awareness of mental health amongst our elderly population. The Coffee morning and cake sale was held at Braywick Sports Centre and SportsAble on Friday 17th of May 2019. The date worked well as it fell within the Mental Health Awareness Week.
This project saw not only a Walking Football Tournament run on the day with 9 teams of over 60's males competing, which was won on penalties in the final by Hanworth Town (Picture 2) but also had several local charities present to provide information and other organisations present to speak to the local residents about opportunities. These partners included, Number 22 Counselling service, MIND UK – Friends in Need, SportsAble, Thames Valley Police, Three Discovery, Berks and Bucks FA, Ramblers, Maidenhead Cycling Hub and the SMILE charity. The main partner for this event was AGE UK, this charity provides the older generation with a wide range of fantastic opportunities to help everyday life so all money raised went towards this charity.
Thames Valley Police attended the event, advising locals on home safety and fraud prevention which proved to be quite popular amongst the targeted population.
Three Discovery were present to help residents as well as the walking footballers with any issues they had with their phones and held three very productive workshops which was focused around WhatsApp, Facebook & Phone Basics support. It was great to see residents booking onto the workshops prior to the event and on the day it was pleasant to see locals approaching the Three staff to ask for support regarding their mobile phones. In one of the pictures attached on this document (Picture 3), The Deputy Mayor Colin Rayner can be seen interacting with members of the public and the Three staff, getting advice on how to use Apps on his mobile phone.
SMILE charity was identified as main target group in terms of promotion and marketing as they provide exercise and walks to the over 55 population and their sessions see a huge foot fall of local residents. SMILE held two taster sessions at this event, one was a walk which was taken by one of the SMILE coaches around Braywick Park and the second session was an indoor Aerobic class which was also taken by another experienced SMILE coach.
These sessions were open to local residents and it was great to see non SMILE members take part in the sessions and enquire about local SMILE sessions (Picture 5).
Walking Football was one of the main highlights of the day as there was a very competitive but fair tournament taking place so it was decided that there would be an open taster session held in the small cage at Braywick which was not only open to over 55 year olds but to all ages, this was to give a taste to the general public on how walking football works as it is different from normal football.
As there were students from BCA College volunteering on the day at the event, they instantly showed their interest in attending the walking football session as well as the lead person for walking football in Berks & Bucks and a senior member of SportsAble. It was great to see an inter-generational fun session and two enquires were made regarding taking on regular walking football sessions in Windsor (Monday mornings) and Maidenhead (Tuesday Afternoons). (See picture 1)
Similarly, a walking netball session also took place indoors at SportsAble which was also successful as the session facilitator had several enquires on walking netball sessions in the area. Ramblers took a 5 mile walk with their usual group and local residents, Maidenhead Cycle Hub held a led bicycle ride too, both these sessions as well as all the other sessions that were run during the day resulted in a lot of networking between local residents, walking footballers and organisations which was very rewarding to see as the main aim of this event was to raise awareness for mental health, battle loneliness, social isolation as well as getting local residents active and healthy by introducing them to a new activity that they could pick up and attend regularly.
The day in whole was a huge success as we raised £438.34 for AGE UK and approximately 200 people attended the event. The event gave residents new activities to try, linked them with local organisations and most importantly raised their awareness of the benefits of physical activity on mental health.