Health

Argyle Community Trust Kick off Central Park health and wellbeing summer programme

Argyle Community Trust is delighted to be managing the Central Park Community Sports Hub on behalf of Plymouth City Council and is excited to be delivering a summer Green Social Prescribing programme to support the local community. The project, supported by the Thriving Communities Fund, aims to improve, and increase social prescribing community activities by bringing together place-based partnerships of local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise projects. The Thriving Communities Fund has been made possible thanks to funding from the National Academy for Social Prescribing, Arts Council England, Natural England and Historic England, with support from NHS England and NHS Improvement, Sport England, the Office for Civil Society, the Money & Pensions Service and NHS Charities Together.

The project aims to run a series of free activities that highlight the fantastic natural facility available to all in the centre of our city. With our partners the Wolseley Trust, the Theatre Royal, Green Minds and Plymouth City Council we have developed a series of activities to enable people to appreciate the natural environment of the park and to experience new activities on their doorstep.  There are a variety of activities provided to ensure a wide cross section of the local community are engaged with including older people at risk of isolation, people that are looking to lose weight, Armed Forces Veterans and school children on free school meals. The activities include:

  • Walk & Talk group and Compassionate Cafe for older adults who are at risk of isolation
  • Beginners Bowls sessions
  • Couch to 5k programme which aims to support people run 5km in 9 weeks
  • An outdoor Soccercise circuit class which uses footballs to help females exercise
  • Sessions that use sport to engage with Armed Forces Veterans
  • School holiday activity club aimed at children who are free school meals or pupil premium

As well as the physical activity sessions, a number of other free activities have been developed that highlights the natural environment of the park and broadens the offer available to the local community. The Theatre Royal will be delivering arts and outdoor theatre activities and events in the lead up to their Funky Llama Festival in Central Park in October. Green Minds will be leading on nature-based activities and attending events to make the local community more aware of various aspects of the park. The Wolseley Trust is to provide wellbeing support for participants as well as employing social prescribers, that work in partnership with GP practices across Plymouth, who will connect people to the project for support to get more active in a safe and friendly environment.

The programme is open to everyone and we wish to create a relaxed and friendly environment that enables friendships to be made and encourages participants to use Central Park regularly for their health and wellbeing. More activities are being added to the programme on a regular basis.

Argyle Community Trust Health and Wellbeing Manager Ben Kerswell said, “We have found that the various lockdowns over the last 18 months have had a detrimental impact on both the physical and mental wellbeing of the local community. This project aims to address this by providing a range of free opportunities that aim to support a reduction in social isolation, an increase in activity levels, and an improvement in overall wellbeing. We are hoping the project encourages people to reengage back into the local community and use the great natural facility of Central Park to do this. Along with our partners we have created a programme with a variety of physical, arts and nature activities that will hopefully reach a range of target audiences that are most in need of support after the pandemic.”

If you wish to find out more or have a specific question about the programme or the project, please contact Ben Kerswell ben.kerswell@pafc.co.uk or phone 07961 588378.

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