Through the Together Fund, Sport England and the National Lottery are providing community organisations with extra support to help local people get active.
County Durham Sport supported the Just For Women Centre with their successful Together Fund application. This is their story.
Just For Women work in the community of Stanley, providing a service that empowers and supports women, children and their families to move beyond the constraints of mental health, poverty, domestic violence and worklessness. Through the Together Fund, Just For Women have provided yoga classes and a horticultural project, designed to get people moving in a relaxed environment.
We asked the Just For Women Centre to reflect on how things have been going.
What’s been going well?
The yoga – which includes mindfulness (staying in the moment) and meditation – provides an opportunity to spend two hours of the day in a relaxing, safe environment, where attendees can exercise and feel good. The Just For Women Centre have been delighted with the engagement in the sessions.
Here is what some of the participants had to say:
“Yoga has helped me to release built up emotions in my body. As well as helping me to manage my stress”.
“I have developed different ways/approaches to breathe from my yoga sessions which I now use on a daily basis.”
Participants have found the horticultural project equally as relaxing, finding being outdoors and seeding plants therapeutic. Whilst gardening, they don’t even realise they are exercising but definitely feel better for it.
The garden is seen as a very peaceful place, where people leave their problems at the door; it has been aptly named the “The Serenity Garden”. A lot of attendee’s plant in the Serenity Garden. It has been entered into competitions such as Northumbria in Bloom, giving the participants a shared goal and something to strive for. For all their hard work, they have been awarded a gold award as well as Community Champion from Northumbria in Bloom. This recognition has served as a great source of inspiration, motivating them to maintain their gold status and participate in the event again next year. This ignited sense of passion has helped to boost morale and ensure the garden is tended to in all weathers.
Both the yoga and horticulture project have brought people together who have experienced trauma. People now support one another within the centre, plus there have been many social spin offs and friendships born.
County Durham Sport are proud to be able to support organisations like the Just For Women Centre to make a difference to the lives of County Durham communities. Join us in celebrating the amazing impact of this Sport England/National Lottery funding by sharing your story on social media with the hashtag #TogetherFund.