Service users and staff enjoyed a number of fun and enjoyable sports sessions to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity and its positive impact on mental health.
Hafan y Coed at University Hospital Llandough, partnered with the Cardiff City FC Foundation who held a number of taster sessions to which not only promoted physical activity but also social interaction and fun.
The Foundation hosted a number of sessions in the new purpose-built multi-use games area at Hafan y Coed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. The sessions were led by the team who taught participants football skills in a fun and engaging way.
It is hoped that through carrying out the sessions, participants will have conducted more activity than they may have done recently, but also feel inspired to want to do more moving forward.
Rachel Gill, who took part in the taster session said; “It’s beautiful to be in the sunshine and be able to run around, playing football with the trainers, people from Cardiff City and all of us from Llandough Hospital. It has been a really lovely experience and makes me feel that there is no place I’d rather be than here on a sunny day.”
Sarah Lloyd, Directorate Manager, Adult Mental Health Services at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said; “The multi use games area was included in the design of Hafan y Coed to provide a dedicated space for service users, staff and the wider community to take part in physical activity.
“When Cardiff City FC Foundation approached us to do some sessions we jumped at the chance as physical activity is not only a huge benefit for the wellbeing of everyone but it also reinforced the message that activities can be fun, engaging and develop social interaction.
“We hope that now people have seen the area in use it will encourage them to make use of it and just have fun while also feeling the benefits of getting fresh air while on the road to recovery.”
Simon Stephens, Director of Sport and Health at Cardiff City Foundation said; “It was fantastic to see the service users engaging in today’s activity session and genuinely enjoy themselves. We often talk about the health benefits and gains to be had by physical activity, but often forget that a fun, relaxed and engaging environment is a vital ingredient, particularly when people are taking part in activity for the first time in a long while.
“One participant actually said to me ‘this session is great, it reminds me of all those times I had fun playing when I was a child’.
“I was impressed to see the level of engagement from the participants and it was also great to hear them asking Foundation staff when we would be returning to do more. All in all we certainly had a fantastic day at Hafan y Coed and certainly hope this is just the start of a longer term working relationship with the team.”
The Cardiff City FC Foundation is a registered charity affiliated to Cardiff City Football Club. Their mission is to use the brand of Cardiff City Football Club to change lives and inspire members of the community to become more active, included, healthy and knowledgeable.