BActive Manchester (BAM) – Supporting families to be more active together
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“We walk everywhere.”
To the shops, to school, to appointments and work. It’s something we hear often at BActive Manchester (BAM). Walking is a necessity and can become a chore.
At BAM we support families experiencing domestic abuse, substance misuse and/or mental ill health to become more active together in their local community. We’re funded to work with 5 – 15 year olds but include the whole family, so getting parents on board is essential for the project and families to thrive.
At BAM Wellbeing Drop-ins, parents and pre-schoolers can meet us in a local park during school hours for a chat and a brew. There’s the option of a stroll and most of the time we end up doing just that. For a lot of parents, coming to BAM is something they sign up to do for the kids, but drop-ins remind them that taking time for yourself is just as important.
Walks however small - to the shops, to school or appointments - can feel like a chore, but they can also help us to make those little decisions. Like making healthy choices in the shop, helping the kids feel ready to learn, or calming our nerves before an appointment. They add up and have a much bigger impact on our wellbeing.
For one BAM Mum, Fatima, walking made everyday tasks more manageable;
“When mental health is good, you can make decisions. If you are stuck in one place and not going anywhere you can’t do anything. When you go out and meet someone and talk to each other your mind will be fresh, especially if you walk in the morning.”
Fatima became a regular at BAM Wellbeing Drop-ins and in her own words, attending was a way of standing up for herself. The confidence she gained from walking supported her to make decisions about protecting herself and her children and now they’re in a much happier place.
BAM families were encouraged to take part in the GM 'Let's Walk' festival in October, walking a total of 280 miles, smashing their group goal by over 3.5 times!
After contributing many miles to the GM Walking Festival, Fatima’s next goal is to keep up a daily steps challenge so she can keep boosting her confidence throughout the winter months.