This article by Katherine Palmer was originally published by the Colchester Gazette on 18 June 2019.
A new chapter has begun for Colchester’s first therapeutic book club.
Sport For Confidence has teamed up with Beyond Words to launch the See and Stretch Book Club.
Students from Market Field School in Elmstead Market shared picture books about important life experiences as well as enjoying sports.
A session was hosted by Leisure Word Colchester and welcomed Colchester mayor Nick Cope.
Project designer Lyndee Oscar said: “Our See and Stretch Book Club provides opportunities to develop lifelong skills enhancing a healthy lifestyle, as well as increasing awareness of important issues like being active, bullying, depression, bereavement and belonging.”
“Participants also enjoyed a range of low impact exercises and stretches delivered by a Sport For Confidence.”
The club meets once a week for a closed session but the hope is for the club to be open to the general public in the future.
Nick Wright, chief executive at Beyond Words, said: “Many people find pictures easier to understand than words. “Books Beyond Words encourages interaction and imagination through the presentation of pictures, supporting those who struggle with words.”
“The See and Stretch Book Club provides participants with a stimulating, active environment in which to thrive.”
Sport For Confidence provides inclusive physical activity sessions for those who face barriers in sport.
Theresa Higgins (Lib Dem), Colchester councillor responsible for commercial services, says: “Sport For Confidence has been incredibly well received at Leisure World Colchester.”
“I’m pleased to see the programme develop with this partnership with See and Stretch Book Club, which builds on the great work already happening in Colchester, to engage individuals most in need.”