Keep mind and body in shape for positive mental health

The recent Health and Wellbeing Festival at The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic Football Club, was great fun and there was a real buzz around the ground.

The festival is the result of a partnership between Oxleas and Charlton Athletic Community Trust, that it is hoped will benefit the local community for years to come.

Service users, local people and Oxleas staff came together to enjoy a wide variety of mental and physical health themed activities including drama; rowing; music making; volleyball; health checks and a football tournament.

The theme for the event was 5-a-day for positive mental health. The idea is that five different activities each day is good for mental health – borrowing from the government’s campaign that says including five portions of fruit or veg per day should be part of a healthy diet.

However, everyone who attended found many more than five things to occupy their time. For those who felt the popular rowing matches run by local sports equipment company Concept 2 were perhaps a little too strenuous, there were hat making, drama and music making classes courtesy of the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music and the Arts.

Patsy Fung, Head of Occupational Therapy at the Bracton Centre and Kim Weatherley of Focal Point manned a stall that was busy all day selling wares produced by service users including superb plants and beautiful hand made cards. Other stalls offered healthy eating advice; education and employment opportunities; health advice and information on giving up smoking. There was also a tea dance for older adults in which Oxleas Chair, Dave Mellish, was seen to trip the light fantastic.

The exciting final of the football tournament was played out on the Charlton pitch between the Bracton Lions and Kent Early Intervention, with the Bracton Lions winning 3-1. Presenting the trophy, Joint Head of Nursing, Phil Garnham, paid tribute to the “fantastic competitive spirit that has helped to make this tournament such a success.”