To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re proudly supporting through our third Sport Tech Hub cohort, RED January.
After witnessing the positive effect that physical activity had on her Mum as she recovered from a period of severe depression, Hannah Beecham founded RED January in 2016. RED January is a movement that’s empowering the nation to get active every day in January, to ‘beat the blues away.’
Since it began, RED January has grown in support and strength with 150,000 people around the UK and beyond all kick starting their year in a positive way. With 87% of those that joined during RED January 2019 noticing a significant improvement in their mental and physical health. Together the RED community has raised £2.5 million for Mind as part of their 3 year exclusive partnership (the partnership comes to a close May 2020).
The month long challenge supports people through a typically tough month. January is a time of year when many of us are setting new goals, are low on funds and motivation post Christmas, and with less social occasions to keep us connected. RED January is free to register individually or as a team, and it brings people of all fitness abilities together.
To help people form a healthy habit with physical activity that will last well beyond January, we encourage people to choose a daily activity that works best for them and their lifestyle, all whilst being motivated by an online community of ‘REDers.’
RED January has historically been their flagship campaign but they understand that supporting our mental health shouldn’t be a one month thing. Over 70% of the RED community are likely to continue what they started if they’re given support and motivation to do so. To help, they’ve recently formed RED Together.
The January challenge is here to help people start the year as they mean to go on and RED Together exists to provide year round support and inspiration.
In this article, we catch up with Founder of RED January and RED Together, Hannah Beecham. Hannah shares how REDers are continuing to support themselves and each other by using physical activity as a positive tool to support their mental health.
“We know that incorporating physical activity into our lives isn’t always that straightforward, especially during this unique time.”
“RED Together is here to provide practical ways to start, rekindle or continue being active, the first being to encourage people to do what works for them.
From identifying a natural point in your day to enjoy a fitness activity, to adding extra movement to your everyday tasks, we’ve seen REDers up and down the country walking up and down their stairs, stretching whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, gardening, building up to their first 5k run, to joining online fitness classes whilst using cans of beans as weights!
We know the importance of physical activity, but are also especially mindful of this unique moment in time that we find ourselves in and the impact of this on our mental health.
It is incredibly heart-warming to see REDers dedicating their physical activity to a fellow REDer that needs some time before they take that step out of bed or their home, comforted in the knowledge that they aren’t alone.
The RED communities continued kindness and support for one and another is one of the MANY reasons why I’m proud to be a REDer, made even more poignant to be sharing this during Mental Health Awareness Week, with kindness as the theme.”
Resources to support the RED community and the wider community!
To support the RED communities along with new REDers, RED provides a free monthly calendar on their website. It’s a space for individuals to set their own physical activity goals for the weeks and months ahead – redtogether.co.uk/downloads
Interested in supporting the RED Together and / or RED January 2021 campaign? Email firstname.lastname@example.org