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Pace of Mind

The Pace of Mind programme combines physical activity with mental health support services to benefit people in the Norwich area who might be struggling to cope with mild to moderate mental or emotional distress, including anxiety and depression.

The pilot of this mental health running project is taking place in the Lakenham and Tuckswood area of Norwich. The sessions run weekly and culminate in the achievement of a running goal, which participants are working towards throughout the duration of the 16-week programme. In the Norwich area, this can be Run Norwich, or another local 5K or 10K.

Active Norfolk led on the project development, bringing together funding through the Energise programme, which is one of two pilot Sport for Change projects in England funded by Comic Relief and Sport England, and commissioning local mental health charity, Norwich Mind to deliver the project locally.

The result is the first local running initiative that will also provide mental health support services to participants while they train to achieve a running goal. It aims to improve both physical and mental health in a fun, informal and supportive way.

The project is being led by Norwich Mind and recruitment is centred through their website. If you or someone you know is interested in taking part in one of the limited places, visit the Norwich Mind website. Recruitment onto the programme has now closed, but do get in touch with Norwich Mind using the link above if you would like more information on local mental health services.

"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."

Ellen Vanlint, Sports Development Officer at Active Norfolk

“I know from my own personal experience the power running has to alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. For many people with mental health issues, the stigma surrounding the problem is far worse than the diagnosis itself. So this project is a great opportunity to get people running and talking about mental health to break the taboo. And to have some fun at the same time”

Dudley Garner, Project Coordinator at Norwich Mind

Ellen Vanlint

Ellen Vanlint

Sports Development Officer

I've been working for Active Norfolk since 2008. Previously I worked on the Big Lottery and Space for Sports and Arts scheme for Norfolk County Council.

In my current I role I am responsible for all a number of sports development programmes including; all things disability sport, volunteering, a number of under represented groups programmes including our 'This Girl Can in Norfolk' campaign and our BME development work. I enjoy my role as I get to work with a wide range of organisations including Schools, Clubs, Businesses, Charaties, National Governing Bodies and many more. No 2 days are ever the same in this job!

Outside of work I play hockey for North Norfolk Ladies HC as well as badminton and tennis. Travel is my other love and always enjoy planning the next trip away!

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