1. Skip to content

Real people, real stories

Real people, real stories

How sport can help people with mental health problems

Peter and Val share their story - Learn how you can improve your Mental Health with exercise!

Johnny's story

1 in 4 people will have a mental health problem at some point in their life and at any one time the figure is 1 in 6. 10% of children have a mental health problem in their childhood. There are thousands of people out there sharing your story.
Johnny is one of them, one of you. Having anxiety problems, he has found a way to work around his imperfections and find things that make him feel worthwhile. Through sport and helping others, he has found confidence, but even more important balance in his mood, which allows him to undertake new challenges.
Johnny's message is simple: "Inclusion and understanding is the way forward."

Take a look at his story and let him inspire you.

Paula's Story: To be a Volunteer!

My name is Paula. I volunteer for the Active Body, Healthy Mind project where I am assisting someone to go swimming.

Me and the person I am supporting start the day by meeting up at a bus station to drive to the Four Pillars spa-area. This bus drive is really fun as it gives you some time to talk to person you're working with about their week and how he/she has been. When we arrive at the spa-area of the hotel, we get ready to do some sport. I usually just assist person when he/she walks into the pool and then we do some exercise while chatting to each other and occasionally give a "high-five" when something has gone particularly well. This is followed by a short break in the jacuzzi where some more chatting to other gym-members takes place. Afterwards, we try and swim some more and then get ready to attend our journey home.

I find volunteering for Oxfordshire Mind really fun! I look forward to seeing the people I'm supporting every week and I also like talking to them about really random things that do not involve mental health. I also like making them laugh because I think laughing is quite important. Working for Oxfordshire Mind (especially the Active Body, Healthy Mind project) has given me some practical experiences in helping someone reaching a goal, and it has shown me that some encouragement and motivational talk can help people accomplish their goals all by themselves.

People should volunteer for Oxfordshire Mind because it is fun and it is something different to everyday life. It gives you a chance to help someone or just make someone laugh and feel good about themselves. It is a great experience and makes you feel like you have positively influenced someone else's life. The staff and other volunteers are very supportive and if you feel uncomfortable with anything or find something challenging, they will be there to help you and support you. It is a great and safe environment to get some real-life work experience. I don't see a reason for why anyone who likes working with people would not enjoy this experience. It is something you will never forget.

Our Campaigns


Campaigns Home

One You

One You

A Campaign brought to you by Public Health England

Change 4 Life

Change 4 Life

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed ornare nisi at magna aliquet consequat. Donec laoreet vitae ante vel pulvinar. Nunc velit felis, dignissim a dui ut, semper faucibus mi. Proin varius purus aliquet tempor congue. Aliquam vitae nisi dui. Sed lacinia justo in est vehicula euismod. In ac accumsan nisi. Donec efficitur quam at tincidunt feugiat. Nunc volutpat sit amet nisl tincidunt pretium. Integer eu pretium ex.

Sugar Smart
Tags: Health

Sugar Smart

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed ornare nisi at magna aliquet consequat. Donec laoreet vitae ante vel pulvinar. Nunc velit felis, dignissim a dui ut, semper faucibus mi. Proin varius purus aliquet tempor congue. Aliquam vitae nisi dui. Sed lacinia justo in est vehicula euismod. In ac accumsan nisi. Donec efficitur quam at tincidunt feugiat. Nunc volutpat sit amet nisl tincidunt pretium. Integer eu pretium ex.

Oxfordshire Mind

Oxfordshire Mind

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed ornare nisi at magna aliquet consequat. Donec laoreet vitae ante vel pulvinar. Nunc velit felis, dignissim a dui ut, semper faucibus mi. Proin varius purus aliquet tempor congue. Aliquam vitae nisi dui. Sed lacinia justo in est vehicula euismod. In ac accumsan nisi. Donec efficitur quam at tincidunt feugiat. Nunc volutpat sit amet nisl tincidunt pretium. Integer eu pretium ex.