Waterways and wellbeing activities offered to residents

Published Thursday 7 September 2023

People living in the Harborough district can enjoy paddleboarding, a wellbeing walk, or some canoeing as part of an ongoing council supported waterways and wellbeing social prescribing project.

Participants canoeing
Participants trying some canoeing

The South Leicestershire Waterways and Wellbeing Project started in 2022 and is designed to make use of the Grand Union Canal as a focal point to help adults tackle mental and physical health problems.

Activities include canoe and paddleboard sessions, wellbeing walks, running, cycling, crafting sessions and green volunteering opportunities. Sessions will be planned by the wellbeing coordinator which can be booked directly by participants or by referral from social prescribers and link workers.

The project is being delivered by The Canal and River Trust in partnership with Harborough District Council and two other local authorities.

Cllr Jim Knight, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for Wellbeing, said: “The waterways are able to make a big difference to daily lives with support from this project offering simple yet essential solutions.

“A big part of this initiative is providing connection with others in small numbers. It is helping to combat isolation and loneliness, reduce anxiety and stress, increase confidence and is giving people the opportunity to notice and be in a natural environment whilst learning new activities.”

For more information about the South Leicestershire Waterways and Wellbeing Project visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/blogs/waterfront/finding-wellbeing-on-our-waterways

Social prescribing involves helping people to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services and activities like gardening, health walks and volunteering opportunities. GPs, link workers or other health and wellbeing professionals can refer people to activities that are appropriate to them. 

To find out more about referrals and booking activities contact the Community Wellbeing Coordinator Sean Payne at sean.payne@canalrivertrust.org.uk or on 07795 057198.

Harborough District Council secured £29,433 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to enable the project to carry on in the Harborough district for another 24 months, until May 2025.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus