For the past 14 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust (WWSET) have supported hundreds of people with their mental health by adapting their Keep Moving Forward project.
The project, which supports people facing mental health difficulties, has been adapted from face-to-face sessions to conducting online sessions in Indian Clubs (a form of physical exercise) and yoga, as well as weekly online mindfulness sessions in partnership with Bucks Mind.
In addition, the Trust have also been making contact with each and every one of their members weekly to provide a listening ear, ease any worries and provide coping strategies that members can practice and adopt throughout the week and beyond.
The sessions have enabled people to keep connected and provide a sense of routine and normality, as well as much needed support during the COVID-19 crisis.
Sam White, Head of Health at Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust said:
“Lockdown has been an uncertain and distressing time for all of us. However, for those already living with mental health problems it’s been an even tougher road than normal due to the fact many normal coping mechanisms have been taken away and services stretched.
“It’s for this reason that when the lockdown came into place WWSET knew we had to adapt our normal sessions quickly in order to support our community. We immediately had to stop our physical sessions and quickly learn how to adapt to online versions of two of our courses; Indian Clubs and Yoga, which was challenging.
“WWSET also began providing targeted 1-2-1 calls each week to provide support and advice to those most in need. This has been a really difficult time for a lot of our members however I genuinely feel our method of support has helped people to feel connected.
“We have been fortunate to run an additional two short courses (mindfulness and cooking for one) during this time, and are looking forward to gradually getting back to more face to face interactions.”
Here is what a few members had to say about Keep Moving Forward sessions:
“Having a call with Sam and text exchanges has helped me to feel less isolated during the lockdown -especially living alone. “
“Indian Clubs was an important part of my weekly structure pre-lockdown and I was so relieved that this has been able to continue via Zoom. I enjoy the different exercises and feel like it’s helping my body get stronger and my mind keep active. Plus, it’s lovely seeing everyone and Sam’s friendly energy and encouragement makes all the difference.”
“Being in isolation is tough but being connected to the group via the virtual yoga is a godsend. After the session you feel invigorated but calm and relaxed. It’s the highlight of the week.”
“Speaking to Sam helped me by keeping me positive. It’s good to talk, but also her calming positive attitude helped focus on being in the present. Knowing that they are always available to talk to is so important for my wellbeing”