We know that carers are twice as likely to suffer from ill-health as non-carers and that more than half of those who provide more substantial care have suffered physical ill-health because of their caring role. The pandemic is putting more pressure on carers, affecting their physical and mental well-being. Therefore, it is more important than ever for us all to support carers to take care of themselves.
In partnership with You've Got This we have been delivering the #DoItForYou social media campaign for several months aiming to encourage carers to do something for themselves every day, no matter how small, that will benefit their own mental and physical well-being.
Each week we have been posting resources, activities, or inspiration to keep carers active throughout lockdown. As restrictions are easing there may be more opportunities to engage with more activities however, we understand that there may be several reasons why taking time out for yourself may continue to be challenging for many.
This week have teamed up with The Junction Foundation to showcase how some local young people, including young carers have been keeping active over the Easter half term.
The Junction Foundations- Step 2 Step Challenge
The Junction Foundation has been encouraging local young carers and other young people to be more active. The past year has been challenging for all and especially young people. It has impacted on young people’s confidence, emotional well-being and level of activity. With the support of funding though NE Youth, two young people took on a Youth Challenge Award and decided to set up a ‘Step 2 Step’ six-day challenge over the Easter half term.
The aim of the project was to motivate local young people to push themselves to walk as much as possible over a six-day period, encouraging healthy active lifestyles through an element of healthy competition.
Awards were given to all participants who managed a minimum of 3000 steps over the six days. Young people who didn’t have a fitness tracker were provided with one through the funding.
Each day a photo challenge was set focused on positive thinking and underpinned by the need to take steps to find the 'perfect pic', including a favourite spot, something that makes you happy and something colourful.
At the end of the challenge, participants received a medal, certificate and other surprise treats.
How did the young people do?
14 young people signed up, many of whom are young carers. Every day they each sent in an email with photos of their daily steps and photo challenge images.
Eileen is the Young Carers Services Coordinator at The Junction and when asked about the success of the challenge she said:
It was great to see the steps coming in every day and how well the young people were doing, and to hear how some had joined up to walk together. By the end of the week, all of the young people had clocked up enough steps to achieve an award and the highest clocked up a huge 95,000!
One young person said that before the fitness challenge she rarely left the house and had no confidence, but since the challenge, she has been at her fittest, has spent more time with her family, and has really built up her confidence.
Here are what some of the participants had to say about the challenge:
“Doing the ‘Step 2 Step’ made me feel happy and proud, it also made me feel more myself and gave me a boost to do more.”
“I’ve never walked to so many beautiful places before and it was fun.”
“It helped me learn some independence.”
“The step challenge helped me to be motivated to walk.”
“The most exercise I have done.”
“It gave me something new to talk about.”
So, can you take on the six-day Step 2 Step Challenge?
There are no prizes other than the satisfaction of knowing that with each step you are moving closer to a healthier version of yourself.
Here is a breakdown of the targets:
- Bronze Award achieve 3000-4000 steps over the 6 days
- Silver Award achieve – 4000-5000 steps over the 6 days
- Gold – between 5000-6000 steps over the 6 days
- OR can you do more & achieve Platinum!
To participate all you need is a fitness tracker or some extremely impressive math and concentration skills to keep track of your steps.
We would also love to see images of your favourite spaces in our communities. You can send your images to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Unable to leave the house? That doesn't have to be a barrier, track the steps that you make at home, do some extra trips up and down the stairs or do some laps of your garden if you are lucky enough to have one.