Swinton Lions Community Sports Foundation

The Greater Manchester Mental Wellbeing Grants programme, funded by Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership and delivered by GMCVO, aims to support people from communities of identity or experience, based in Greater Manchester, that may struggle to achieve higher levels of mental wellbeing. 

Swinton Lions Community Sports Foundation received a grant in 2022 as part of year 3 of the programme. They’re the charitable arm linked to Swinton Lions professional Rugby League Club. The Foundation was formed in 2016 and works with people from all ages and communities across Greater Manchester with the primary aim to give hope, aspiration, chance, and choice. They provide a wide-range of projects, over 30 per year, to a broad range of communities. Their projects primarily focus on rugby, general physical activity, mental wellbeing support, and tackling key social issues such as youth violence, cost of living and tackling inequalities.

“I feel so much better attending once a week with everyone, it feels like home away from home”

Swinton Lions Community Sports Foundation received a £3,280 small grant to deliver 76 instructor-led gym sessions and 20 walking rugby sessions for 20 men aged 50+ who are unemployed, socially isolated, living with long term health conditions, or are a military veteran. Each session allows participants to get active, learn new exercises and connect with like-minded people.

What impact has the project had? The project started with initially small numbers but gained traction as word spread and partners referred people to the project, this has led to each session being well attended by a committed cohort of men who come together to reduce social isolation and improve their physical fitness. The project has had a remarkable impact on participants, with one stating

This project has made me feel like me again. Unfortunately I had become lonely after a divorce and my wellbeing had become severely affected, I was very depressed and had contemplated many negative thoughts. I found out about the project by chance and it has been brilliant.”

Find out more about Swinton Lions Community Sports Foundation here.

Find out more about GM Mental Wellbeing Grants here.

Image of a gym with a man on an exercise bike