Serpentine Mental Health Ambassadors

England Athletics, supported by Mind the mental health charity, have launched a Mental Health Ambassador programme. Serpentine is pleased that we have two volunteer ambassadors: Sid Wills and Jamie Giles

The programme aims to establish a network of 128 volunteer ambassadors from 91 affiliated running clubs and groups across England to support those of us who are experiencing mental health problems. Support includes helping people to start running, get back into running, or continue running as well as to improve the mental wellbeing of their existing members. This volunteer programme links to #runandtalk, a campaign to improve mental health through running in England by:

  • Getting people talking about mental health, sharing their experiences and removing stigma.
  • Raising awareness of mental health problems.
  • Supporting people experiencing mental health problems to be physically active through running start, return to and continue running.

The ambassadors will be working with their clubs on a variety of things including:

  • Creating a mental health action plan for their club/group.
  • Organising specific events or open evenings.
  • Creating links with local mental health services/organisations.
  • Sharing information on social media about #runandtalk and other related campaigns.
  • Starting conversations about mental health.
  • Sharing good news stories.
  • Supporting leaders, coaches and other volunteers with relevant guidance on mental health.
  • Volunteering through Mind and other organisations to support people experiencing mental health problems to start running.

There's a good article by Ronnie Haydon, who is a mental health ambassador with Kent AC, in The Guardian: Running is good for your mental health – and I'm here to prove it

We would like to thank Sid and Jamie for offering to take up this important role.

Please feel free to contact Sid or Jamie if you have any questions about their role or would like to talk to them.

This is also a good chance to remind all members that the club's Welfare Officers will listen confidentially to any issues and will endeavour to support your individual needs and well being. You can read more and find the contact details of the welfare officers here.

Jen Bradley

Submitted: 20 April 2016