In July, the British boxing legend Frank Bruno MBE has thrown his weight behind a new programme of sports activities for people in Berkshire with mental health problems – the largest countywide programme of its kind in the UK.
The former World Heavyweight Champion, who has faced his own battle with mental illness, gave his support when he presented a cheque for £220,000 to Reading-based charity Sport in Mind on behalf of Sport England.
Sport in Mind works closely with Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Public Health Berkshire to provide sport and physical activity sessions for people with mental health problems. All sessions are supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, with the charity relying on grants, fundraising and donations to cover its running costs.
The funding will go towards a £500,000 three-year programme to help provide 35 sporting activities, including football, table tennis, badminton, yoga and short tennis, to improve the lives of those with mental illness across the county, including inpatients at Prospect Park Hospital in Reading.
Sport in Mind founder Neil Harris said: “We’re really excited to be able to launch this programme here in Berkshire, and offer people experiencing mental health problems the opportunity to improve their health and well-being through sport and physical activity. Sport England’s investment in this programme will make a real difference to the lives of many people in our community, and help challenge the stigma associated with mental illness.”
Sport in Mind has a programme of activities in Reading, including yoga, badminton, table tennis and football. For more information please call 07969 579947 or visit www.sportinmind.org.