RED January, the nationwide mental health and movement challenge, is on a mission.
Recent Sport England research has shown a 4% decrease in adult participation in any type of activity during the winter months, compared to the summer months, resulting in a movement decline of 1.8 million participating adults. And RED (Rise Every Day) January, is calling for UK communities to come together to reverse this negative trend.
People set their own January challenge, or take part with a team of colleagues, friends, or family, as movement can be a catalyst for change, and being part of a team can inspire you to keep moving. RED January recently co-hosted a workplace event with partner, Decathlon UK, to encourage more businesses to adopt ‘movement breaks’ throughout the month.
To keep people motivated on those more challenging days, RED teams and ‘REDers’ also fundraise for mental health and community projects, with over £3 million raised to date. In 2024, RED is partnering with both the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP), supporting local projects that people can access through social prescribing, and Mental Health UK, supporting specialist mental health advisors and online support group, Clic. Funds will also be raised for the Sport in Mind charity through a partnership with Decathlon UK. These are projects that know and understand the communities they work in, and can help to implement longer-lasting, more effective activities and behaviours.
Tom O’Connor, Head of Programmes at Mental Health UK, said; “At Mental Health UK, we understand that a shared sense of belonging and feeling connected to others has a huge impact on our mental health and wellbeing. That’s why we deliver services like Clic, to provide people who may be feeling isolated and alone with a safe, supportive online community that supports everyone’s mental health. Thank you to the RED January community for your fundraising efforts. Together, we can challenge the causes of poor mental health and provide people with the tools they need to live their best possible life”.
Tracey Lines, National Lead for Physical Activity for NASP, said; “The organisations that REDers will help fund provide physical activity programmes – including mental health swim programmes, therapeutic walking groups and gardening – that people can be referred to by Social Prescribing Link Workers and other health professionals. There is a clear need for people to be able to access high quality physical activity provision within their community to support them to live healthy, active lives. These amazing projects need support more than ever.”
RED January builds on a growing body of research showing that regular physical activity can play a major role in supporting people with focus, motivation, sleep, self-esteem and overall wellbeing.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said; “I can personally attest to the benefits of getting outside on a walk with my dog or playing football on the weekend. I am passionate about seeing more and more Londoners getting active, and it is initiatives like RED January that are providing vital motivation. This is especially needed in the current context, with worries about the cost-of-living crisis combined and the cold winter months dampening many people’s mental health and wellbeing. For this reason, this year’s RED January feels more important than ever”
Individuals and teams can sign up to take part in RED January for free, at join.redjanuary.co
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