Cygnet Hospital Maidstone is working in partnership with Kent Cricket to give service users the opportunity to get active and engage with the sport.
The hospital, in Weavering, Maidstone, supports adults with mental health needs and has launched weekly cricket sessions with Kent Cricket, the county club that plays at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury.
20 patients at Cygnet Hospital Maidstone have participated in the scheme, with sessions delivered by community cricket coaches.
Kent Cricket started working with the hospital in 2019. The hospital is also sponsoring Kent Cricket’s annual Fireworks Nights.
Alison McCulloch, General Manager at Cygnet Hospital Maidstone said: “The cricket sessions have been very well received by our service users with people from all wards across the hospital keen to take part. It’s going so well we are hoping to hold our own cricket match.”
“Some of our service users used to play locally so it was really inspiring for them to be able to return to the sport, and we are very grateful to Kent Cricket for this exciting opportunity, especially now that the lockdown has ended and we can welcome visitors back to the hospital.”
The hospital and the cricket club carried out a risk assessment in advance to ensure the residents are able to attend the sessions safely and the sessions use soft balls and plastic bats to protect patient’s safety.
Alison added: “Being physically active can have a profound and positive impact on mental health, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Kent Cricket closely.”
Kent Cricket’s Head of Community, James Reid commented: “The link between sport and physical activity having a powerful and positive effect on mental health, is long established.
“Alongside our partners Cygnet Health Care, we identified an opportunity to use the power of cricket to engage with their residents and service users. Through the delivery of a series of workshops, the team were able to provide Cygnet Health Care with an activity which supports their users personal recovery journeys.
“It’s important to recognise that cricket can be a force for good and has an important role to play in our community, beyond the boundary.”
Cygnet Hospital Maidstone is a 65-bed mental health facility for adults situated in the Kent Medical Campus in Maidstone. The hospital is purpose built to meet the latest national specifications for improving mental health within a therapeutic environment. Cygnet Hospital Maidstone is rated as ‘Good’ by a national regulator Care Quality Commission.