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Exercise and Mental Health in Kensington & Chelsea

July 15, 2020

This week we celebrated National Workouts and Wellbeing Week. We have been working with Minds United FC to help talk about how sports for mental health can help manage mental health conditions. They were brilliant in showing us how exercise and mental health are important. We interviewed the founder of Minds United FC Tarik Kaidi and two of the group’s players Andrius and Adam. You can see their interview in this post or all of them on our Instagram

What is Mental Health?

1 in 4 people in the UK deal with mental health problems. Mental health can affect our daily lives, relationships and our physical health and the challenges we face can vary in degree of severity.

Some common mental health problems are anxiety disorders, mood disorders and schizophrenia disorders. You can find out more about this here. Mental health can govern how we think, feel and behave.

We sat down with Minds United FC a football charity that supports people with mental health difficulties. They were kind enough to tell us about some of the problems they face.

Founder of Minds United FC Tarik and players Adam and Andrius talk about how their mental health conditions impact their daily lives.

Tarik Kaidi- Experience with Bipolar disorder

Andrius experience with Paranoid Schizophrenia

Adam experience with Borderline Personality Disorder:

Exercise and Mental Health

Exercise has several benefits for our mental and physical health and can be a positive treatment for depression and anxiety. Physical activity can help reduce levels of anxiety and have a positive impact on our mood. One study found that people felt better after a workout compared to after periods such as inactivity. They reported being in a better mood after exercise, and exercise has been found to help lower stress levels and boost our self-esteem.

Dementia and Cognitive decline

Exercise and mental health are essential when considering Dementia and cognitive decline in older people. The main symptom of Dementia is memory loss, and it is a progressive disease that causes people to become more impaired over time. Older people who do not develop Dementia can experience cognitive declines. These can be things such as attention and concentration issues. Exercise is a  protective factor against both cognitive delay and Dementia. For people who already have Dementia, physical activity helps delay further decline.

Support in Kensington Chelsea

Take a look at the list below of some of the services and activities available for people in Kensington and Chelsea.

Minds United FC are set up to allow people with mental health to have an outlet. The group train every Saturday at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance from 12 -2 pm and compete in the Middlesex FA North West London, mental health league once a month. They have partnerships with the London FA, build on belief Charity and the NHS. They also accept self-referrals for people who feel they want to join and need some help.

Build on Belief

Times: Wednesday 3 pm – 5 pm or Sunday’s 12 pm – 2 pm

Cost: Free

Location: Harrow Club

Helps people who are struggling with or are in recovery from substance use; namely drugs and alcohol. The charity plays at the Harrow Club twice a week and is a good outlet for exercise and Mental Health. The sessions are free and are designed to be social and help benefit people who suffer from low moods and depression. If you are interested in playing with ‘Build on Belief’ then you can get in touch with them through the contact details below:


07739 796045

Chelsea Running Group 

Cost: Free

Meeting Time: Every Monday at 7:15 pm


Chelsea Fire Station 264, Kings Road

Kensington and Chelsea Guide to activities:

K&C has produced an excellent guide of other activities that are free or are at a low cost.

The guide covers multiples activities from walking groups to gym club, and there is most likely activity for anyone.

Meetup: It is a great place to find groups near you and build friendships and a regular exercise routine.

Westway CT: how we help enable Exercise and Mental Health

Westway CT run a range of services that can help groups or individuals get to hard to reach places.

Our group services have a range of standard and accessible minibuses that can seat 14- 16 people. If you run a community group or voluntary organisation based in the boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster or Hammersmith & Fulham, you can become a member and access our vehicles. You can book our minibuses either with a driver or use your own (terms and conditions apply). Minds United is just one organisation we have helped. Find out how they have benefitted from our minibuses in the video below: