The Mindful Sport Programme is unique to Bedford Borough and has been running for almost one year with over 500 attendances at sessions locally. The Just Turn Up style programme offers an opportunity to get active and social with peer-to-peer support and advice around mental health issues. This Thursday 2 February is “Time to Talk Day”, organised by MIND and Re-think Mental Illness Charities, to raise discussion around Mental Health.

Racheall Monton Break The Stigma Board 2

With ‘Mindful Yoga’ taking place on the 1st February and ‘The Mindful Walk’ on the 3rd February, it is also an opportunity for Bedford Borough Council to raise awareness about Mindful Sport which invites people to take part in sports sessions to improve feelings of generalised anxiety disorders, eating disorders, panic attacks and stress.

The Mindful Sport programme offers people the opportunity to get active in a relaxed setting with the chance to feel that they can talk about mental health and wellbeing should they wish to. So on “Time to talk Day” the conversation around mental health will hopefully be going on round the clock.

Mindful Sport session

Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Public Health at Bedford Borough Council said: “People with poor physical health are at higher risk of experiencing mental health problems and vice-versa, so there is a definite link. We have received very positive feedback from participants who have said that meeting others with similar conditions has helped them get the confidence to return to work full-time.”

Each session on the Mindful Sport programme is followed by refreshments or a coffee group and allows people to make friends and take leaflets/information about local mental health support services. The session grew in 2016 from 1 Yoga session to a programme of 4 activities including swimming and table tennis. Complete beginners are welcome at the Swimming group and there is an opportunity to build confidence in the water with the coach. The swim teacher and yoga instructor are both attending Mental Health First Aid Lite training and provide a friendly environment.

For more information on MINDFUL SPORT or Just Turn Up, contact Sports Development Officer, Robert Lindsay, on 01234 718825 or email or visit

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