Sport in Mind are delighted to share that we have been awarded £25,000 by Arts Council England for the provision of weekly dance and movement sessions to improve the mental health of mums and young people aged 9-14 across reading, Bracknell, and Slough. The funding has come through Arts Council England's National Lottery Project Grands Fund. 

The Arts Council's National Lottery Project Grants is made possible thanks to National Lottery players, who each week raise £30 million for good causes.

The new project, Positive Moves, aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of women and girls through dance, as well as reduce loneliness by offering a space to meet others in similar situations. The project will provide access to three dance and movement sessions per week for people identifying as mothers with perinatal illness (with their babies in slings), three sessions for those identifying as mothers experiencing mental health difficulties (with toddlers) and three dance sessions for 9-14 year old's with mental health challenges.

Sessions will be held in venues in reading, Slough and Bracknell. This will be a part of Sport in Mind's social prescribing offer, enabling mental health professionals to refer people to the sessions. 

Hazel Edwards, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England said; "Thanks to National Lottery players, we've been able to support Sport in Mind's exciting project, and we look forward to how these sessions create safe spaces for women and girls as they get alongside one another. Getting communities of people to engage in creativity as a means of benefitting their wellbeing is an amazing opportunity and one that the Arts Council is pleased to support"

Mafe Toledo, Sport in Mind Mum and Baby Dance Instructor said; "Having a small baby can feel very lonely and isolating, especially if you're a first time mum and not really sure of what you're doing. Mothers have a basic need to meet and talk so they can share experiencing and learn from each other; going to regular classes is a great way to deal with loneliness as it build communities and gives a sense of belonging"

Lara Collins, Sport in Mind Dance Leader said; "The impact of our programme is fantastic to see and all of those who attend our sessions improve their confidence, self esteem and overall mental wellbeing. The feedback from participants and parents is so special to hear"

These new sessions will be starting in September- we will of course share all details as soon as they start! In the meantime for details of how to get involved, along with session dates and locations already running, please visit here