Bridport Runners and Brit Valley Rotary Club, the organisers of the annual Bridport Jurassic Coast Run, have given a donation of £1,000 to a local project which is run by the independent mental health charity, the Dorset Mental Health Forum: The Forum project “Reach”, which has been running for eight years, acknowledges how important getting out, being active and social is for everyone but especially for those in recovery from mental health issues. Reach aims to encourage people to take part in a county wide range of daily sports and social activities from friendly coffee groups through to fast paced seven-a-side football, all of which led by a Forum peer worker. “The activities are in place for everyone and are varied, affordable and really easy to access. You don’t need to be referred to us by a GP or a support worker to get involved”, explains Dave Privett, Reach Coordinator at the Dorset Mental Health Forum. “The money donated to us from the Bridport Jurassic Coast Run is really appreciated as it will be used to develop further activities for the people in the area, including those struggling with poor mental health and isolation.”
Bridport Runners have their own experience in supporting members with mental health problems: Bridport Runners started their own “Well-being group” in 2016 which offers a gentle start into running and also a welcoming environment for people with mental health issues. The Well-being group has become a regular addition to the weekly training session.
Brian Shelley, Bridport Runners’ Chair, says: “We know from our own Club and from people we’ve been running with over the years that sport can play a vital role in getting and sustaining a more robust mental health. While, unfortunately, it does not solve all problems, running with likeminded people in the open can help to clear your mind or just get another perspective.”
The money donated to the Dorset Mental Health Forum was raised during last year’s fifth Bridport Jurassic Coast Run and ramped up by Brit Valley Rotary. In previous years the two community groups Bridport Runners and Brit Valley Rotary have supported a few local projects which are mainly helping children and youngsters to take part in sporting activities or being physically active. Beneficiaries of the donations in the past were the cross-country squad at Sir John Colfox Academy, a special needs group at Mountjoy School and the Bridport Youth Club.