Dorset Mental Health Forum – SLAP
The Sports Leisure Activities Programme (SLAP) is a self-funded programme of activities which helps local people who are struggling with mental health illness.
- PRIORITY 4
This programme encouraged people with mental ill health to become active and social in a friendly, welcoming environment alongside friends and family as well as other people in the community. SLAP extended the opportunity to take part in sporting activities such as football and Tai Chi or social activities including a cinema club. The purpose of the programme was to reduce isolation and was especially supportive of those battling drug or alcohol addiction, by providing members with an alternative to staying at home alone or mixing with people that may have lead them back into trouble.
Dorset Mental Health Forum applied to the PCC for a grant of £1500 through the Safer Dorset Fund to allow them to extend their work and set up SLAP football activities in Portland. The Forum originally identified that having a dedicated project in Portland could be beneficial due to the number of existing and potential participants living in the Portland area.
Con Giorgi said: "The very welcome funding from the OPCC gave us the opportunity to start 2 new groups in Portland, an area where we felt there was a real need for the peer led, recovery focused sports activities that we provide.
"Unfortunately we didn't get enough referrals to make the groups self-sustaining after the initial 6 month funding period was up. Most attendees travelled to the groups from Weymouth , we only had 2 people coming along who were local to Portland. For this reason we moved the group to Budmouth Sports Centre in Weymouth at the end of the 6 months where it continues to flourish."
Attendees at the sessions gave very postive feedback :
'It has helped me tremendously in battling social anxiety and depression whilst also, making me much more healthy physically and mentally. I have also made friends through the group and so, I have gained a whole new social outlet as well. '
'The football group (in Portland) offered me the chance to exercise n to meet others it was fun n every time I went I really enjoyed myself it gave my week structure n the confidence to take other things on in my life '
'The football group has been a real help to my recovery. it has helped me grow confidence with meeting new people and talking to them. also i have witnessed how it has had amazing positive effects on others, it has got me out of bed in the morning on days where my depressions been terrible, put a smile on my face and given me a bit more structure to my week. in some ways i could say its been a life saver. '
' I hope you realise how mutch SLAP has done for people - you gave me a second chance at life and I hope you realise so many people appreciate what you have done for them'
Find out more about Dorset Mental Health Forum and the work they do.