Photo of Carla Andrews

Lifestyle changes can be affected by an individual’s adventure, but more often than not there are people involved along the way that help the journey to becoming more active, be that an encouraging friend or a welcoming and friendly club or group. Our March 1 in a Million focuses on one of these groups who help and inspire others.

Carla Andrews is the founder of Motivated Minds, a non-profit group aimed at delivering lifelong health and wellbeing solutions in the community.

“Motivated Minds is a wellbeing provider and a number of our programmes support people with their mental health using physical activity to overcome their barriers.”

Their provision is based on the NHS Five Ways to Wellbeing, one of which is Being Active. By incorporating activity into their programmes, they can help improve the wellbeing of their participants. However it needn’t be an ultra-extreme fitness regime, instead using activity as a way of making new social connections:

“One of our first was Walk 4 Wellbeing, we currently run over 4 walks a week, getting people out and making new friends. Our second is our Exercise Buddy programme which supports people that want to get into activity but would be more motivated to do it with someone.”

Starting with just a small amount of activity has provided the impetus and motivation for participants to try more adventurous challenges:

“They have undertaken personal challenges that they never thought they would have accomplished alone. We had one gentleman who started with us on a Walk 4 Wellbeing who was in a wheel chair, over weeks and months he started walking and to this day he now walks miles a day, every day!”

This has led to Motivated Minds looking to develop further projects with an active element to them:

“We want to start us Pedal Power a cycle scheme, Nurture Nature a gardening scheme, and back for the third summer will be Wake Wellness an outdoor water activity for young people.”

Eager to practice what she preaches Carla maintains an active lifestyle:

I get active when I can. I love swimming, and try my best at running having just started couch to 5k again. I believe in having fun and making my physical activity social. I love obstacle courses. My favourite last year was Mud ‘N Madness with three friends.

As we embark upon our vision to ‘Change 1 Million Lives’ it’s particularly refreshing to hear why Sport and Physical activity can be so powerful, and what goes on behind the scenes. Thanks for sharing your story Carla!

If you would like more information about Motivated Minds please visit their website here.