Doncaster charity encourages children to exercise more to help with their mental wellbeing
A Doncaster-based charity says physical activity can help promote mental wellness in children and help reduce stress, anxiety and depression and want to help 20,000 children to get fit by 2023.
Active Fusion is a charity which aims to help children and young people in Yorkshire to be physically active.
They encourage physical education lessons in schools and give young people the opportunity to enhance their qualifications, confidence, and communication through sports leadership and apprenticeship opportunities.
Louise James, the founder of Active Fusion, said: “The Active Fusion mission is to help young people develop a love for being active and keep that habit for a lifetime.
“It started over 10 years ago - my passion for sport and wellbeing started when I was a child and I see the benefits it has on young people.”
The charity has worked with over 27,000 children in South Yorkshire in the last year and they hope for that number to reach 50,000 by 2023.
Louise says that it’s not just the physical benefits that Active Fusion is keen to promote but also the mental wellness that exercise can bring.
“We have a massive epidemic of young people that aren't active.
“The knock-on effect of that is 1 in ten young people have mental health issues such as stress, depression or anxiety.
“We’re seeing that right from 5 years old - so it’s a real issue that we have.”
Active Fusion works with schools across the borough to help them encourage their pupils into being more active.
At their annual conference on Friday, February 14, motivational speaker Andy Grant shared his story about how exercise helped him overcome having his leg amputated after an explosion in Afghanistan.
He said: “I have turned my life around and turned to a life of sport.
“Since becoming an amputee I’m now more active and adventurous than I have ever been in my life.
“Being active, healthy and having a good all-round level of fitness was massive for my own personal recovery.
“I think it’s hugely important that we get the message across to kids that your mental and physical health go hand in hand.”