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 Stamp It Out with their successful Together Fund application; this is their story.
Stamp It Out is a local charity led by people with lived experience with mental health issues. They aim to eliminate stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health in County Durham. Through the Together Fund, they provided a wellbeing walk in Stanley, Murton, and Wolsingham for six weeks. The aim of the walks was to get people talking about their mental health.
We asked Stamp It Out to reflect on how things have been going.
What’s been going well?
Stamp It Out has helped people across County Durham to connect again following the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the Walk and Talk project, they have helped people see the importance of physical and mental health; this led to one member of the group saying:
‘I hadn’t realised how isolated I had been. Connecting with others for a walk and talk has really been beneficial for both my physical and mental wellbeing, I have really enjoyed the experience and will continue to look at doing other walks.’
Another big strength of the project was that the walks were delivered in locations that didn’t have regular organised physical activity. The purpose of this was to encourage people to be more active and less isolated; this was an ambitious effort, but it has been successful. For example, the Murton walk is continuing post-funding as they have had a good turnout, and new people have been joining each week.
On the walks, Stamp It Out has been able to signpost people to services; this is an important step for getting people the support they need.
One of County Durham Sport’s team, Miles Lowson, attended the Murton walk and said:
“The atmosphere in the group was fantastic! People were mixing with one another and even teaching each other about the history of the area. People were also able to find out about initiatives that were ongoing in the community, such as what meal deals were available and where they were. There was definitely an appetite from everyone to continue walking!”
What have you learned from the project?
Different areas have different needs. Some participants were completely new to the activities, and others were walkers who used the activity for their wellbeing.
Also, it was noticed that people opened up to walk leaders about their experiences while walking. Stamp It Out will work with walk leaders to provide training to support them in having mental health conversations.
County Durham Sport is proud to be able to support organisations like Stamp It Out 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