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Bristol Active Life Project has recently undergone its final evaluation.
Find out more about how BALP has made a difference to those living with long-term mental illness.
BALP project evaluation (pdf, 3.8 MB) (opens new window)
The Bristol Active Life Project (BALP) offers a variety of activity sessions across Bristol. The sessions are designed for people who have experienced or are living with a long-term mental illness.
BALP is a partnership between The Football Foundation, Bristol City Council, Avon and Wiltshire Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), Sports and Leisure Management Limited and local voluntary sector organisations.
Individuals who are currently or have previously been engaged in mental health services and are unable to access mainstream activities due to their mental health.
BALP offers the following activity sessions:
- Gym based exercise
- Women only sessions
- Healthy eating workshops
- Training courses
- and much more...
All the sessions are run by appropriately qualified coaches who have undergone mental health awareness training. Some sessions are also supported by a mental health worker (for details please see the timetable).
BALP activity timetable (pdf, 108 KB) (opens new window)
Life Cycle UK
BALP partner Life Cycle UK through the Bike Minded Project offer a regular programme of rides and practical help bringing the benefits of cycling to people who are experiencing emotional or mental health problems.
The supported group rides are pitched at different levels - from short and gentle to longer more advanced rides - to enable people of all abilities and fitness levels to participate.
Life Cycle UK timetable of current rides (pdf, 86 KB) (opens new window).
For more information, please call the BALP Development Officer on 0117 352 1173.
- Improves your mental health and wellbeing
- Improves self-esteem and confidence
- Lose or manage weight
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of disease.
Sessions are by referral only.
You must be referred into these sessions from one of the following:
- Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP)*
- Self-referral: individuals can request a self referral through their GP or support/key worker (must be diagnosed with a severe and enduring mental illness)
- Voluntary sector agency referral
- GP referral
*If you are currently under AWP care and would like to access these sessions please contact 0117 919 5769.
If you would like to self-refer please contact your GP or support/key worker and they can make a referral using our BALP open session referral form.
If you are a GP or a voluntary sector agency and would like to refer an individual please also use the BALP open session referral form and complete the online form with your clients.
If you are currently under AWP care please contact 0117 919 5769 before signing up. Referral will be at AWP discretion.
You will also need to apply for an ‘Everyone Active Card’ to access the leisure facilities. These are free and a form can be downloaded in our related documents section, or requested at reception and completed on site.
Most sessions cost £2.50, but these may vary. Typically most sessions last an hour.
The sessions take place at a variety of leisure facilities across Bristol and these include:
- Easton Leisure Centre - Tel: 0117 903 1628
- Horfield Leisure Centre - Tel: 0117 903 1643
- Kingsdown Sports Centre - Tel: 0117 903 1633
- St. Paul's Community Sports Academy - Tel: 0117 377 3405
To make it easier for you to find travel information please visit our Travelinfo web page. This page provides links to all the main methods of transport in Bristol.
Dial-a-ride A door-to-door bus service is also available for any person if they cannot or find it difficult to use public transport due to mobility or communication impairment. The service costs roughly the same as public transport and accepts concessionary bus passes/travelcards.
For service users engaged with Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) and looking for support and advice with healthy eating, therapeutic diets (for example coeliac disease and type 2 diabetes), recovery from an eating disorder and guidance around food choices to prevent disease and ill health, it is now possible to be referred for support from the Nutrition and Dietetics team. A referral will need to come from your Care Coordinator and this can be done by completing our BALP nutrition form.
For service users who are not or no longer supported through AWP, a referral can still be made and you will be contacted with details of workshops as and when they are available.
For more information, please contact the Physical Activity Development Officer.
Please download the BALP code of conduct below. This must be read by all participants and referrers prior to enrolling on the project.
BALP produce a quarterly newsletter with up to date news and information about the project. Download the latest bulletin below:
We are continually looking to expand the scope of activities provided under the BALP programme and are looking for volunteers to support sessions as they develop. So, if you enjoy physical activity and meeting people and have a little spare time why not think about being trained as a volunteer to support BALP.
Through volunteering with BALP you can:
- Learn new skills and have new experiences
- Share your skills and experience with others
- Work toward a recognised sporting qualification
What opportunities are available?
Volunteers working on the Bristol Active Life Project will have opportunities for further training to raise their awareness of mental illness and how it affects individuals, and should they choose, can also work towards a recognised coaching qualification to further assist with the provision of BALP activities. Time commitment is flexible and support is provided where required.
Please note that volunteering opportunities may vary across the project.
How do I become a volunteer?
If you would like to discuss volunteering for Bristol Active Life Project, please contact Mark Owen on 0117 352 1173 or email email@example.com.
If you would like to give us some feedback please fill in the feedback form.