Active Minds, Healthy Bodies

A partnership between Comic Relief, Greater London Authority, Mind and Sporting Equals

On World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2022, Sporting Equals announced the 12 month partnership formed by Comic Relief, Mind and Sporting Equals. The partners will be delivering a project titled “Active Minds, Healthy Bodies”, supporting older people from ethnically diverse communities into physical activity opportunities.

Following the lockdowns, caused by COVID-19, Mind found that older people from ethnically diverse backgrounds were disproportionately likely to experience mental health problems. Widespread isolation, loneliness and bereavement all had particular impact on older people. This project therefore came at a very important time in light of challenges facing older communities and the support communities need to reduce inactivity in this audience group.

Active Minds, Healthy Bodies promoted the benefits of physical activity and act as a support mechanism to boost mental health. Seven London local community and faith organisations will worked with us to deliver this project to a variety of ethnically diverse communities (Black African and Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian). In total we expected 200 older people to benefit from the project alongside supporting up to 50 volunteers and coaches with mental health first aid and cultural awareness training, supporting their communities into physical activity opportunities.

Each site monitored indicators of mental well being such as confidence, self-worth and self-esteem while also expecting to see a reduction in feelings of loneliness and isolation. Sites collected this data via surveys and Sporting Equals will later be releasing a report on this.
The project and partnership will allowed us to support older groups who are often forgotten and ensuring we are reaching those who facing multiple disadvantages in light of cultural, economic and inclusion barriers.

"We are proud and excited to work with such great partners on this important project. The pandemic had a heavy impact on us all but we can address the imbalance here. We want to see the participants get active, be happier and be healthier. Not just in the short term, but in the long term."


Mind’s physical activity team use the power of sport and physical activity to raise awareness, tackle mental health stigmas, and support those of us with mental health problems to become more active.

We are thrilled to have teamed up with Sporting Equals to provide coaches and peer volunteers with mental health training and support to support Active Minds, Healthy Body coaches, volunteers, and participants to thrive.