A local campaign is being launched today to focus on the positive impact of physical activity on mental wellbeing.

The programme run by Men’s Mental Health – Swindon has been funded by Wiltshire and Swindon Sport and Sport England and aims to tackle inequalities in accessing sport.

The group filmed and interviewed four Swindon men who are involved in sport in a bid to share their stories and encourage other men to get involved in physical activity.

MMH Swindon co-founder Alex Pollock said: “We were approached last summer by Wiltshire and Swindon Sport who informed us they were working with Sport England’s funding to activate localised campaigns that help tackle the inequalities of accessing sport, with mental health being a part of this.

“Once we’d had an opportunity to review the brief, our Steering Group and I felt there was a real opportunity to create some engaging content that aligns with our local community objectives and encourages involvement in local sport at an amateur level.”

The group was successful in a bid for £6,000 of funding, and with the help of Swindon-based creative agency Ottr Works they were able to bring the campaign to life.

Alex said: “Our original plan was to be launching towards the end of 2020, but due to the pandemic and grouped physical activity being restricted, we’ve been sat on our plans since then. With the easing of restrictions, we felt now was the ideal time to showcase our stories.”

The MMH Swindon was launched in 2019 and its Facebook page features videos, pictures, tips, and artwork.

From today, it will publish a video each Friday until August 13 with one of the four men being featured in each video - football player Ricky, professional boxer Luke Watkins, prominent skateboarder James Threlfall and rugby player Mike Murray.

“Our goal has always been to deviate from the nationally-led campaigns,” Alex said. “We always want to use the first-hand stories of guys who live in and around Swindon, and we try to focus on the positive aspects of improving your mental wellbeing, as opposed to focusing on mental ill-health or the generic statistics


Alex believes sport can have a positive impact.

“There’s a variety of evidence publicly available to prove that taking part in physical activity has a profound impact on mental wellbeing,” he said.

“Being physically active can improve mood, decrease the chance of depression and anxiety, as well as leading to a more balanced lifestyle.”

For details visit facebook.com/mmhSwindon