Plans underway for large scale wellbeing event in the Bay

May 20, 2019

One of the largest community well-being events is heading our way on Thursday after securing the support from many of the areas top sports leaders and mental health professionals.

Motiv8 at the Barn in Eirias Park is the brainchild of Mental Health Occupational Therapist Shaz Jamieson-Evans who worked with voluntary, third sector and local agencies in Gwynedd before introducing the project into Conwy two years ago.

Shaz and her Colwyn Bay based colleague Mark Morris have studied the positive effects on mental health and wellbeing by taking up a hobby or by engaging in regular sport and recreation.

Mark explained how the project came about. “Each day individuals and families struggle with the impact of depression, stress or other mental health difficulties.  Sometimes it’s as simple as feeling low and not being able to pin-point why you are feeling that way. And if left unchecked in the long-term it can spiral into something that can’t be easily managed.” 

“All of the Motiv8 team have been working hard to uncover some positive ways of maintaining good mental health and some of it comes down to what we do when we’re not busy at work or juggling everyday life.”

According to The Royal College of Psychiatrists, strong evidence exists showing 25-30% reduction in depression in adults who participate in physical activity daily. Exercise also has potential advantages over antidepressants with fewer side effects.

Taking part in arts related activities also helps overcome mental health problems. A recent programme in Gloucestershire which tackled anxiety, depression and stress showed that GP consultation rates dropped by 37 percent and hospital admissions by 27 percent.

At the Motiv8 event, local clubs, organisations and experts will be hand to showcase numerous recreational activities and give local people the chance to try them out for free.

As one of the biggest free recreational events ever held in the area, many people are expected to turn their hand to new interests including arts and crafts, football, rugby, yoga and music to name but a few.

As well as providing a space for local people to try something new, it has benefited local clubs and groups. In its second year, support has come from many quarters including former Wales rugby Captain and Colwyn Bay RFC coach Rachel Taylor.

Rachel explained: “Motiv8 has been another real success for us and has given us an opportunity to develop our new inclusive strategy, create connections and develop further opportunities to offer sport through the medium of rugby’’

 “Motiv8 supported the development of the mixed ability Stingrays rugby team which has an emphasis on wellbeing and inclusion.  Motiv8 has provided partnerships from those keen to get involved or those keen to support or volunteer”.

The event at Eirias Park also provides the opportunity for organisations to collaborate on projects benefiting the local community.

Colwyn Bay Watersports Manager Taffy Osborne explained how important the event is for helping their work.

“Not only did we have the chance to meet people keen to try sailing at Porth Eirias, but we also spent time meeting other clubs and we agreed a programme of activities aimed at women and young girls for this season. We can’t wait to be involved again this year.”

Motiv8 takes place in the Barn at Eirias Park this Thursday May 23rd and is open to everyone wishing to try out something new or find out about a new potential hobby or sport. Admission is free and the event runs from 1pm until 6pm.