This key area of Ability Solutions’ Operational Plan focuses on researching and implementing ways to increase participation of people with mental illness in physical activity. To achieve this Ability Solutions works together with community service providers, agency staff, volunteers and people with mental illness. By creating new and exciting opportunities to participate in physical activity, Ability Solutions staff aim to get people interested and involved and therefore more active. We develop sustainable pathways for everyone involved to continue participating in Physical Activity.


Aim & Focus – People with a diagnosed mental illness represent the largest disability group and the most misunderstood. Ability Solutions believe that it is an extremely disadvantaged group who experience large health inequalities. For this reason, this project is targeted at people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and who are currently receiving support from volunteers/agencies.


With Healthyway’s support Ability Solutions will:


¨ Work together with agencies, volunteers, the diagnosed individuals and their family and friends who support them, to engage them in physical activity within the community.

¨ Provide support to individuals and train volunteers/agencies to engage more with positive healthy lifestyle choices.


Implementation & Delivery – new volunteers/agencies will be engaged through four phases.


1. Preparation

¨ Development of relationships with agency

¨ Advocacy for the benefits of physical activity and good nutrition

¨ Demonstration of a range of activities

¨ Development of physical activity action plan


2. Programming

¨ Development of community links

¨ Implementation of agency volunteer training

¨ Direct delivery of activities

¨ Individual support


3. Maintenance

¨ Equipment loan

¨ Proactive consultancy


4. Sustainability

¨ Maintain an active and positive relationship with agencies to develop their strengths


Components – During the length of the project, agencies, volunteers and participants will get to experience a variety of the following:


¨ Camps

¨ Come and try’s

¨ Planning sessions

¨ Equipment loan

¨ Staff training