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Charity marks World Mental Health Day with announcement of new long-term running programme in Norwich

Posted: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:27

Charity marks World Mental Health Day with announcement of new long-term running programme in Norwich

Norwich & Central Norfolk Mind have announced a new initiative to encourage people who experience mental health issues to get active through recreational and competitive running in the Lakenham and Tuckswood area of Norwich.

The local mental health charity has teamed up with Active Norfolk's Energise programme and Run Norwich to launch the extensive programme of running activity. The project is funded by Sport for Change and is part of a regional and national effort to encourage social interaction and improve activity levels for people of all ages.

Beginning early next year, Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind will offer a series of running activities for both novices and more experienced runners experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues. The eight-month project will culminate in participants challenging themselves to complete the 2018 Norwich 10K race with support available from physiotherapists and sports psychologists from the area. As part of the programme, each participant will be coached by a 'buddy', which is someone who has suffered with mental health problems and has established running as part of their regular routine and found it to be beneficial.

Olympic Runner, Paul Evans (far left) from Active Norfolk, will take a lead role in the project but one key aim of the project is to establish runners as Run Leaders to continue the positive effect of the project beyond its scheduled duration.

Head of Partnerships at Norwich Mind, Ruth Taylor, said: "We are really thrilled to be following up our involvement with Run Norwich again this year in such an innovative and meaningful way for this community. We know that running is a great way to improve our overall happiness, health and mental wellbeing, and the power it has to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Just like the #Runandtalk initiative nationally, we are setting out to prove that running at whatever pace can be fun and rewarding for everyone, particularly when you do it in good company."

Ellen Vanlint, Sports Development Officer at Active Norfolk, added: "Through our Sport for Change funding, the Energise initiative uses sport and physical activity to empower this Norwich community to create social change and have a positive impact on local issues, including poor mental health and access to community services. This is also a great opportunity to create a strong community of runners of all abilities and backgrounds, whom we hope to support to carry this passion forward into the future."

Tags: Energise, Lakenham, Mind, Norwich, Sport for Change, Tuckswood, mental health