Get Out Get Active makes time to talk during the COVID-19 pandemic
Today is Time to Talk Day. A day to start conversations about mental health. Time to Talk Day aims to help end the stigma of mental health by encouraging people to engage in conversations. Get Out Get Active is proud to support such an important day. The programme is about much more than being active. It strengthens community spirit, increases confidence, and improves mental health.
Yesterday, Activity Alliance released its Annual Disability and Activity Survey. It shows COVID-19 is having a negative impact on many disabled people's health and wellbeing. Disabled people said the lack of activity has led to both their physical and mental health being harder to manage. Feelings of loneliness and social isolation were also frequently voiced.
Throughout the pandemic, Get Out Get Active (GOGA) has been focused on keeping people socially connected, whilst encouraging them to be physically active at home. From weekly phone calls with people who cannot access the internet, to providing extra time for groups to chat at the end of online activity sessions.
In Blackpool, some participants have found it difficult to get online to take part in Zoom activity sessions. So, our partners began calling participants on a weekly basis to support them through the process of getting online. Elsewhere, Get Out Get Active has provided a regular call service to support people who are isolated or shielding.
I really enjoy having the phone calls. It makes you realise that people are out there that care and want to help you.
GOGA Blackpool participant
In Scotland, over 200 people attend a weekly online activity session to help them to keep moving at home. The activities are adapted for all levels and abilities, and participants are welcome to turn their cameras off if it makes them feel more comfortable. The GOGA Activity Coordinators also encouraged participants to stay online after each session to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat together. This social time has helped people to create friendships during the lockdown, with many of the participants now keeping in touch with each other outside of the sessions.
I am on my own most of the time… so it’s nice to see people. Just chatting to people, because if you are in the house on your own it’s nice just getting a little bit of a chat. It doesn’t matter if its two minutes or whatever just being able to say hi and there’s a friendly face, it’s just marvellous, it’s so good.
GOGA Scotland participant
This story is part of our ongoing series showcasing how Get Out Get Active is finding new ways to reach and engage some of our most inactive audiences across the UK in physical activity.
About Get Out Get Active
Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Charitable Trust.