28 July 2020

The efforts of more than 300 colleagues and service users have been praised after a week-long campaign to promote exercise and the benefits of good physical health on mental health.

Mental health inpatient units were competing in the first digital Bedfordshire and Luton Wellbeing Games.

Points were awarded for the number of colleagues and service users participating in online exercise sessions and for social media posts showing teams taking part in activities from a dance-off to press-ups.

Coral Ward at the inpatient site off Calnwood Road at Luton & Dunstable Hospital took top spot and bragging rights in the light-hearted contest. Cedar House in Bedford was awarded the trophy for the best staff participation numbers.

More than 90 people were involved in the final exercise session of the week on Friday.

Certificates and trophies were awarded to teams, along with some sweet treats with the message that life is about balance - and it is ok to enjoy a small treat as a personal reward if you have worked physically hard through exercise.

“I consider myself extremely lucky to work with such amazing people,” said Bedfordshire and Luton health development coordinator Steve Muggridge, who organised the initiative with sports therapists and other members of the Occupational Therapy (OT) team.

“In one week we have engaged more than 180 patients and 130 members of staff in physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day.”

He added: “This has been about fun, super friendly competition between teams who love each other and promoting the benefit of being fit and healthy.”

Coral Ward, Cedar House, Willow Ward, Fountains Court, Ash Ward, Townsend Court, Crystal Ward, Poplars, Onyx Ward and Jade Ward were all involved.