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Walking and Cycling Grants London blog

Apr,2016 Core Arts Core Sport
Promoting positive physical & mental wellbeing through sports

Core Arts is a mental health charity based in Homerton, Hackney. Traditionally over the last 23 years Core has been an adult recovery college, focussing on creative therapies such as art, music and creative writing. With the strong link between physical and mental health, Core Sport was formed in April 2015, funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and London Borough of Hackney (LBH). Core Sport offers a wide range of free, inclusive sport provisions to those living in City & Hackney with a mild to severe mental health need, via a GP referral. Sports include swimming, dance, table tennis and walking groups. Before the launch of Core Sport, Core Arts had a high demand for a physical activity programme, which has been a huge success over the last nine months.

Cycling Grants London has also worked in partnership with Core Sport, and has helped fund the purchase of 10 bikes, accessories and the employment of a Level 2 Road Safety cycling instructor, to enable Core Sport to run a cycling group on the timetable every Wednesday afternoon. Cycling has proven to be a popular choice for our service users, and we run the sessions whatever the weather with our enthusiastic non-fair weather cyclists. Hackney has many great cycling routes and offers the chance to explore the local parks and canal routes. We are also able to enjoy what the Olympic Park has to offer. The sessions offer our members a social, scenic and enjoyable ride to those who often feel isolated; as well as teaching them how to cycle safely on the road, use the gears and other effective techniques whilst cycling. It has been a great way to promote positive physical and mental wellbeing amongst our service users.

The Cycling Grants London funding has really had a major impact on our service users. Some have taken up cycling outside of the programme and use it as a mode of transport, which the sessions have given them the confidence to do. Other impacts include weight management, increased levels of fitness and improved mental health.

This month, Core Sport will be lucky enough to have a coached track cycling session in the Velodrome at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which we are all looking forward to thanks to the Lea Valley Park.

You can check out our programme and additional information on how to become part of the Core Sport provisions by visiting our website or you can contact the Inclusive Sports Development Manager Laura-Jane Connolly on or 0208 533 3500 for further information.