A DAD is encouraging people to do some volunteering to improve their mental health.

Samuel Robbins and his family went out to litter pick taking inspiration from one of the five steps to mental wellbeing.

The founder of Swindon and Wiltshire Mental Health Support Group on Facebook is highlighting the issue ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week which starts on Monday.

He and his partner Catrina Fletcher took their four children Aimee, 11, Olly-Jai, six, George, five, and Nala, two around the County Ground and the nearby park armed with litter pickers.

“It’s something we planned to do because we walk through there all the time," he said. "The council do go up there and clear it but they don’t always have the time. A lot of school kids go through there and leave a lot of rubbish.”

He explained: “As a family, we have been looking at the five steps to wellbeing and one of them is to volunteer which is quite nice to do anyway."

The five steps are connecting with people, being physically active, learning new skills, giving to others and paying attention to the present moment. Samuel is encouraging people to try them as a way of making sure people are focusing on their mental health.

“We’re planning to do as much as possible so maybe an hour on the weekends to get the kids out.”

“It’s so boring being inside and you’ve had enough of the same four walls, getting out makes you feel good.”

He added: “The kids absolutely loved it and had fun but it was a lot of work, which we didn’t realise so they were tired.”

The children had a competition to see who could collect the most rubbish but both girls and boys collected so much, dad called it a draw. They were rewarded with candyfloss for their efforts.

Samuel said they were shocked at the amount of sweet wrappers, broken glass and plastic bottles scattered on the ground, despite new bins being recently installed which were empty.

“It’s just wrong because primary school kids walk through there and they see it, but at least this makes it safer and for dog walkers too.”

“If more people get out there and teach their kids too, then the younger generation know the right way and hopefully they will litter pick with their kids and it will continue through. My kids are learning not to litter and we’re helping it to look nicer.”

“I wanted people to see us for inspiration to go out to their local areas with their families and get that feeling of achievement. Helping others will help you so just go out there and try it, even if it’s just the once, you have made a difference.”