We believe that physical activity and sport have the power to change lives. Being active can improve your physical and mental health, increase your confidence, boost your energy levels, and help you to meet new people and feel part of a community.
Each year our Active Communities programme supports over 10,000 people in Edinburgh affected by health conditions, disabilities, inequalities and poverty to get active and stay active. We deliver a range of projects which aim to break down barriers to physical activity and help people to lead healthier, happier, and more active lives.
But we can only do it with your help. However you choose to support our Active Communities programme, your generosity will support care experienced children to live an active childhood; people with long term health conditions and disabilities to enjoy a better quality of life; and older adults to stay active and connected in later life.
Our Healthy Active Minds project uses physical activity to support people experiencing poor mental health.
“I’ve suffered with depression on and off for over twenty years, but recently I had one of the worst bouts I can remember. I was very low - I’d find myself dwelling on bad memories, blaming myself for everything, and losing sleep due to worry and stress.
When I heard about Healthy Active Minds, I asked my GP to refer me. A few weeks later, I met my instructor at the gym and he made me feel at ease right away. We had a chat about my goals, set out an exercise programme and now we meet once a week. Between appointments, I feel confident enough come on my own and ask any of the staff for pointers. In the past I found gyms stressful but Edinburgh Leisure is different – I know I’ll get a friendly smile here.
Since beginning Healthy Active Minds, I’ve been able to reduce my medication. I’m wearing my belt a little tighter, I feel fitter and people have said I’m looking more like myself. I don’t pretend that everything is rosy – I still get bad days but they’re not as frequent as they were. When I do feel my symptoms increasing, I focus on the positive things I’m doing for myself.”
Scott, Healthy Active Minds
Our Movement for Memories project supports people with dementia to be physically active to improve their health, wellbeing and quality of life.
“I was beginning to worry about Tony. His dementia meant that he wasn’t doing much around the house and it was beginning to have an impact on his physical health.
We were delighted to find out about Movement for Memories as it meant that he could get back to being active in a safe and supportive environment. Now Tony loves playing golf with his volunteer buddy, who can keep him on track and direct him to the next hole. He has enjoyed getting active again and I have enjoyed seeing him get so much pleasure from something he used to be able to do.”
Morag, whose husband Tony plays golf at Portobello Golf Course with his volunteer buddy
Our Positive Destinations project uses the power of physical activity and sport to engage young people in Edinburgh who risk leaving school without education, employment or training prospects.
“I didn’t enjoy school and struggled with low confidence. I played a lot of sports growing up and I had always been interested in football coaching, so I was pleased to find out about Positive Destinations.
At first I was nervous but it turned out I had nothing to worry about - the course was brilliant! Our group were all very supportive and accepting of each other, so I never felt stupid or embarrassed if I was stuck on something.
With support and encouragement from the course tutors, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I learned a lot about myself and it gave me the experience, skills and confidence I needed to move forward. Now I’m working as a Leisure Attendant at my local leisure centre and coaching football on the side.”
Simon, Positive Destinations
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