Lidl Community Works Sport For Good Schools Programme
DescriptionAccording to The Prince’s Trust Youth Index 2021 report, 45% of young people in NI say their mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic. The Youth Wellbeing Prevalence Survey 2020 also reported 25% higher rates of anxiety and depression in the child and youth population in comparison to other UK nations, reflecting a similar trend in the adult population.
It’s with statistics like this firmly in mind that Lidl NI and the Youth Sport Trust have created a bespoke programme to promote positive mental health by focusing on the role of physical activity in improving mental and social wellbeing through the use of peer mentors.
Physical activity levels tend to drop as young people move through childhood and into adolescence, and evidence also demonstrates the declining physical and emotional wellbeing of young people, and an increasing prevalence of mental health issues.
Physical activity and good mental health are linked, as are higher levels of academic achievement and overall wellbeing. The programme is viewed as a way of raising the profile of health and wellbeing in secondary schools, by means of the following:
• Being an alternative approach to addressing mental health as well as physical health
• Using physical activity as a vehicle for change
• Addressing inactivity
• Empowering young people to support one another
The programme will utilise a team of specially trained athletes mentors to teaching students about the long-term physical and mental health benefits of sports participation. The athlete mentors will run workshops and take sessions with the students that will help increase their confidence and resilience while also providing them with tools to help manage their own mental health into adulthood.