We interviewed Beth Marriott, Development Officer covering Buckinghamshire, East Berkshire & Oxfordshire for the charity Sport in Mind.
Tell us about yourself and your organisation?
I joined Sport in Mind just under a year ago and I have loved every minute of working for such an amazing charity. Sport has always been a huge passion of mine and being able to combine this with my love for helping people has created a very rewarding role for me.
Sport in Mind are a mental health sports charity with a simple mission “To improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems through sport and physical activity”.
What services do you provide that relate to health / NHS?
We are the UK’s leading mental health sports charity and deliver physical activity (sport, walking, dance and movement, gardening and exercise sessions) projects in partnership with the amazing NHS in order to aid recovery, promote mental wellbeing, improve physical health, combat social isolation and empower people to move their lives forward in a positive direction. Our sessions are free to attend for anyone 17+ experiencing mental health problems. The sessions are lots of fun, for all abilities and drop-in sessions, so no need to book and no referral required. The sessions are all delivered by a qualified instructor and all equipment will be provided. We also provide inpatient sessions, so we can support people when they are at their most unwell and hopefully support them along their recovery pathway, back into the community too.
We have over 90 weekly sessions across 6 different counties in the South East, including Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
What made you join the alliance?
It is so important to work collaboratively with other organisations to understand what else is happening across the different counties and how we can help to support more individuals.
How has being part of the group helped you?
Being part of the group has helped me form strong connections with like-minded organisations, allowing us to come together to offer the best support for people struggling with their mental health across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The group allows you to shout about the fantastic work that is going on across the different counties and work through challenges together.
Have you built your network since joining?
Absolutely! I am fairly new to the alliance, but I have already created links with many different organisations that we can collaborate with and learn from. There is so much experience and knowledge in the group that it would be a wasted opportunity not to utilise it to grow stronger.
What would you say if you were to recommend it to others?
Everyone is working towards a common goal and the alliance is a great opportunity to actively connect with partners so we can support each other in addressing the inequalities in our counties. It’s a win-win!