General News:

Improving mental and physical health of children in Aberdeen through sport


Award-winning charity Sport Aberdeen has created activity packs aimed at improving the mental and physical health of the city’s care experienced children and young people through the power of sport.

Sport Aberdeen’s SPACE (Supported Physical Activity for Care Experienced) project teamed up with Children 1st, Scotland’s national children’s charity, to introduce physical activity to an initiative which was delivering ‘wellbeing packs’ to young people, working alongside Aberdeen City Council’s Virtual School

The SPACE project is a pioneering initiative which uses sport and physical activity to help care experienced children and young people reach their full potential through bespoke interventions.

The sports packs, funded by Sport Aberdeen, have been specifically tailored, where possible, for individual participants as identified through the SPACE project.

Sport Aberdeen funded the sports packs with a key focus on getting children and young people active and improving mental and physical health and wellbeing through sport.

Between Sport Aberdeen and Children 1st almost 250 requests from social work and education were received and packs have now been distributed throughout the city.

Sport Aberdeen staff have been distributing sports packs alongside helping to deliver the wider wellbeing packs.

Graeme Dale, Sport Aberdeen Head of Sport and Active Communities, said: “As a corporate parent Sport Aberdeen has a commitment to care experienced young people within the care of Aberdeen City Council, and by using the positive effects that sport has on mental and physical health, we can play our part in supporting this group.

“After identifying the same joint goal as Children 1st and with the backing of Aberdeen City Council’s Virtual School we have been able to work in partnership to create and deliver activity packs to as many people as possible.

“We have been able to create tailored packs for specific participants, with a focus on getting young people out and active which has been especially important during periods of lockdown.”

“We were delighted to partner with Sport Aberdeen and the Virtual School to provide these sports packs to young people and families in the local community. All sports packs included a range of equipment for indoor and outdoor activities, along with activity cards to help get the children started.

Lindsay Jessiman, Children 1st Service Manager

One family member who received an activity pack, commented: “They are so grateful for the stuff they got, especially the pump. The kids liked everything, the scrapbook and the goalie gloves. Thank-you to you and the team, it was so unexpected.”

Lindsay Jessiman, Service Manager for Children 1st in Aberdeen said: “We know that winter in lockdown has had a significant impact on the wellbeing of many of the children and young people that we work alongside.

“We were able to create and deliver these packs thanks to support from Abernecessities and our partners within the FitLike Hubs. The children and carers were delighted with their doorstep drops offs and we have had some really positive feedback.”