Mytime Active’s Twilight Programme, in association with London South East Colleges, offered hundreds of students across colleges in Bromley, Bexley, Orpington and Greenwich the opportunity to take part in a wide range of physical and creative activities.
The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines state that all children and young people aged 5 to 18 should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes every day. However, only 20% of college students take part in sport, compared with 40% of school pupils aged 14 or 15.
Taking part in sports and physical exercise can have a positive effect on young people’s mental, as well as physical, health. This is especially important, since data shows an increase in common mental disorders in young people aged 16 to 24, when compared to previous generations.
Offering activities on campus after the end of the study day provides students with a safe space where they can talk to each other and to trusted adults.
The project’s outcomes showed the majority of students reporting increased confidence, making new friends, feeling happier, healthier and more relaxed. 91% of students said taking part in sport and exercise helped reduce stress, while 88% said it made them feel good about themselves.
100% of the young people who responded to a followup survey six weeks after the programme had continued to do at least half an hour of physical activity a week. At the start of the programme, the figure was just 18%.
The Twilight Programme was researched, carried out and analysed by Mytime Active, and engaged 290 young people, of whom 30% were female and 46% were from a BAME background.
Outcomes and learnings from the programme will be used to improve the services we offer to young people.