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Mental Health Hospital teams up with Crawley Town Football Club to promote physical fitness

Mental health patients given a new ‘goal’ to improve their physical fitness.



A mental health hospital in Crawley has joined forces with Crawley Town Football Club to help promote patients’ physical health and wellbeing

Weekly football training sessions are hosted at Langley Green Hospital courtesy of Crawley Town FC’s Community Foundation. The hospital is run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services for all ages in Sussex as well as mental health services for young people in Hampshire.

The sessions, which have been running since summer 2017, offer patients of any age and footballing ability the chance to learn new skills and have fun whilst getting some all-important exercise.

In return, staff, including Occupational Therapist Steven Rowley who set up the initiative, provided mental health awareness training to all of the coaches at the club.

Steven said: “It’s really important that people have access to a range of activities to help keep their bodies active during their time in hospital. When someone is struggling with their mental health it can be really easy to focus on that alone, but we all know that the mind and body are intrinsically linked, so we have to make sure we’re looking after both aspects of a person’s wellbeing during their stay.

“Exercise needs to be fun and that’s why these sessions are so popular. Even people who’ve never played football before come away with a smile on their face. And the great thing is that the sessions don’t stop once someone is well enough to return home. Crawley Town FC host community sessions one afternoon a week, which are preceded by employment skills sessions where people can get advice on things like writing a CV and searching for work. Combining the two is really helping to support people’s recovery and integration back into their local community.”

The patients are put through their paces at the weekly sessions by Community Foundation Co-ordinator, Adam Wicking.

Adam said: “The sessions provide a bit of relief and respite for service users. It’s great to have a space for enjoyable exercise and to interact without talking, if people prefer.

“I really love working with and meeting so many different people. I have such interesting conversations when running these groups and look forward to the sessions.”

A patient who regularly attends the sessions said: “It is fantastic having football here at the hospital. It is a good way of releasing some of that energy and it helps distract me from what’s going on in my head.”

Health & Fitness

On ya’ bike! Residents invited to explore Crawley on two wheels

Crawley residents are invited to take part in guided bicycle tours to discover local network routes during two events.



Families in Crawley can explore the town on two wheels and discover the local cycle network routes, guided by local people from Cycling UK and Sustrans.

Crawley Borough Council are supporting the guided rides, which includes a tour of Crawley’s parks and green lanes on 27 May and the Annual Crawley Family Bike Ride on 10 June.

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On 27 May, residents and visitors are invited to meet at 10am at Three Bridges station where the ride will pass through parks and quiet residential streets, exploring the cycle paths towards the historic Ifield Mill.

There will be plenty of time to tour the Mill before returning to Three Bridges station at 1pm

On 10 June, at Oriel School Fitness Centre, Bikes Revived will be hosting a Dr Bike session from 9.30am, where you can get your bike checked over and in good working order before the Family Bike Ride leaves at 10am and goes along the beautiful Worth Way off-road track to East Grinstead.

There will be time to get some light refreshments and look at the steam trains before returning to Oriel School for 1.30-2.00pm.

Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said:

“Cycling is the way forward for quick journeys and keeping well. There have been recent improvements to cycle routes in the town and more are scheduled. These guided rides are a great, fun way to brush up your cycling skills and explore the town on two wheels! It’s a very popular event and a good way to make friends – I’ve really enjoyed it in previous years.”

Cyclists of all ages are welcome, including children who are able to cycle for about two hours. Please ensure children under 16 are accompanied by a responsible adult and have a helmet. We recommend that all riders bring a water container.

For more information about cycling in Crawley, visit

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