Access Sport and the Mental Health Charter

Julia Williams, Bristol Programmes Manager, blogs about why Access Sport signed-up to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation and what action it's taking in this area.

Why did you sign-up to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation?

For the past few years Access Sport, through our Ignite Programme has successfully been developing disability and inclusive sport across the country to enable more young people to engage in sport and activity. We signed-up to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation because as part of our wider inclusion agenda Access Sport believes mental health is an important area to develop and help break down the barriers to participation and tackle the social isolation often attached.

How did you go about putting your action plan together?

We went about putting the action plan together by taking learning and insight from the first phase of the Ignite Programme, including listening to young people, their parents and carers and other views to shape it. We have then been able to share with the team and look at specific roles and responsibilities to enable a whole charity approach.

How have you found the action plan helpful?

Having the plan enables the team to focus on the work needed to develop and engage mental health, it also allows the team to go back and review points and helps keep plans on track.

What action have you committed to taking?

As part of a team we have committed to use and share good practise to shape and deliver provision, enabling staff and coaches and volunteers to have the opportunity to develop their own understanding through training and conferences, such as the Mind conference attended recently and staff members are attending additional training around mental health of young people through Street Games in London this month.

We have also committed to look at our communications and website to ensure they are inclusive and there are regular slots to talk through mental health promotion. We are planning to introduce some specific mental health sessions with local partners through BMX in London which is also something we have committed to introduce through the action plan.

Click here to find out more about Access Sport.

Click here to find out more about the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation. And you can find the template action plans on the ‘helpful resources’ page.

The Charter steering group plans to share examples of action plans as part of the one-year anniversary celebration so keep an eye out for those!