MP joins the fight for students’ mental health

Wednesday 11th May 2022

This week, we were delighted to welcome Jack Brereton MP to one of our Schools Mental Health projects, Wellbeing Matters.

Working with two schools in his Stoke South constituency, we’re supporting young people with their mental health through tailored physical activity.

In a co-designed programme of activities across 10 weeks, the students, who have been struggling with low level mental ill health, will be supported to improve their self-confidence, self-esteem and develop stronger bonds with their peers.

In conjunction with Engage Communities CIC, Stoke City Football Club Community Trust and Joliba West African Drum and Dance School, the participants will take part in a range of physical activity, with changes to their mental health carefully monitored and evaluated to determine how successful the intervention has been.

Speaking after his visit, Jack Brereton MP said:

“Supporting young people at such an important stage in their life is vital. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and this gives us all a chance not only to reflect on our own mental health but the mental health of those around us. Sport can be a fantastic outlet for people to improve their mental health.

“It was a privilege to meet with Together Active at St Thomas More to see the new programme at work for myself. It is amazing to see such a wonderful programme for young people being piloted in Stoke-on-Trent. During my visit, I spoke with staff and even had a go at boxing myself, and from the feedback I got there is no doubt that this is a massive success! Thank you to all of those who have helped put this amazing programme together.”


Lottie Smith, Health, Campaigns and Digital Manager and Mental Health Lead at Together Active, said: “We’re all very aware of the pressures on mental health services at the moment. Over the past couple of years, the mental health of young people has been greatly impacted because of the pandemic and wider social issues. We know the benefits of being physically active on mental health, but we also know, thanks to the most recent Active Lives survey, that young people are being less physically active. By co-designing this project with the students, we have been able to create a programme of activity tailored to their needs, providing the opportunities to be active best suited for them.

“We’re hoping to prove the case for physical activity as a preventative tool, creating more options for young people that are struggling before they reach crisis point. By gathering compelling data, we will be able to advocate for more schemes like this across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to help more young people manage their mental health in healthy and effective ways.”

Jack Brereton boxing

Together Active is working on mental health projects across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, creating new pathways into physical activity to benefit the mental health of everyone.


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