A focus on mental wellbeing is key for the whole population.

Greater Manchester Moving is vital to recovery from the pandemic - both our individual and collective recovery. We need to recognise the significant impact the pandemic has had on everyone, and promote physical activity as a means to reconnect with friends and family, enjoying the outdoors, nature and feeling better again.

GM Moving, GM Health and Social Care Partnership, Mind, local authorities, and other GM Moving partner organisations are working together to align and fully integrate physical activity alongside better mental health and wellbeing.

GM Moving partners hope to:

  • Strengthen the message and framing about the benefits of moving and physical activity to improving our mental health and wellbeing, illuminating and sharing stories.
  • Promote mental wellbeing benefits of outdoor activity, active travel, and green social prescribing.
  • Recognise the importance of how our place feels, with good facilities and access to green open space necessary.
  • Embed physical activity as a tool to help improve the mental health of children and young people
  • Highlight how events and connectivity of communities, including links between moving and socialising, are vital to mental wellbeing
  • Grow and draw on advocacy and passion; people who lead and work in GM wellbeing and health teams, communities, and families.
  • Work together across GM to support and connect across sectors, across the system. This in turn will help to contribute to wider wellbeing and equality goals.

Stories from Greater Manchester

Football Freedom Project

The Football Freedom Project brings up to one hundred refugees living across Greater Manchester together every week to play football. The sessions in Ardwick, funded by Sport England Together Fund, were attended by mainly women but also men and children from African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries, giving them access to physical activity and improving their mental wellbeing. More information here.

The Federation of Jewish Services

The Federation has provided advice, support and care services for people of all ages in Greater Manchester's Jewish community since 1867. During the pandemic, they used GM Walking and Wheeling grant funding to host socially-distanced walks to support those with a range of mental health conditions, particularly those who found themselves lonely and/or isolated. Read their story here.

Chloe's Story

Chloe's walking story (right) shows how, as someone who's suffered with anxiety and periods of depression for a long time, she found a way of coping.

Sometimes that involves getting outside and connecting with the world and with nature. Walking is perfect for this, and Chloe explains how, after a period of difficult mental health, it's a great first step in rebooting her mood and getting back on her feet.

Stockport User Friendly Fellowship

In Stockport, this group used a GM Walking and Wheeling grant to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of participants through a Walk and Talk psychotherapeutic walking group - limited to 6 people. Read their story here

Nature for Health

Nature for Health was an outdoor-focused activity engaging individuals most at risk of developing poor mental health and created the activities and support they needed, whilst making the most of the natural environment. This included physical activity such as walking, cycling and other outdoor exercise, providing nature activity kits, gardening, food growing schemes, conservation training, volunteering opportunities and education. More information here.

The GM Moving Podcast:
S1 Ep7 - mental wellbeing

Strategic Director, Eve Holt, spoke to Ruth Rosselson, Resilience Coordinator at Manchester Mind to discuss the links between our mental health and our physical health.

Ruth's helps people manage challenges, changes in life, and stress by running various courses and workshops. Download the full episode transcript here.

GM Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

The GM Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, ‘Doing Mental Health Differently 2024-2029’, was launched to stakeholders and partners in November 2023 with a public launch expected in Spring 2024.

The strategy sets out what we will do together as a city-region to improve the mental health of people in Greater Manchester, to better support those with mental ill health and to reduce mental health inequalities across our city region.

We believe that ensuring physical activity is embedded in the strategy is essential to realising its ambitions with considerable engagement alongside stakeholders across Greater Manchester shaping the strategy's development.

GM Big Mental Wellbeing Conversation

The Greater Manchester Big Conversation aimed to hear from people and communities across Greater Manchester about what’s important for their mental wellbeing. The objective is to use the information to understand what matters and to shape future

initiatives to improve mental wellbeing, making sure they reflect the needs of local people. The results showed that Greater Manchester residents clearly emphasised a need for more to be done to protect and improve their mental wellbeing.

They have put forward many ideas for how we could do things differently. Now the system will be working together, to respond to these findings to improve mental wellbeing for all in Greater Manchester. Read the full report here.

Feel good your way: Campaign for 11-16yo girls

Feel good your way aims to challenge preconceptions of what exercise is and inspire girls to be more physically active to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Find out more about the campaign on our Children's Mental Wellbeing webpage.

Feel good your way campaign video

Latest News

All News

Mayor supports #ActiveSoles - making movement part of the working day

By GM Moving | 31 January 2024

What we wear changes how we think and can change our behaviour too. Wearing trainers and shoes you can move in makes it more likely that we’ll walk/wheel.

GM Walking and Wheeling Fund supports communities to get moving more

By GM Walking | 24 January 2024

GM Walking distributed £95,000 to 38 voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to boost walking and wheeling in GM.

Feel Good Your Way campaign launched to support girls' mental health

By GM Moving | 10 October 2023

Feel good your way shows 11- to 16-year-old girls how moving and physical activity, in whatever way works for them, can support their mental wellbeing.