To help combat the urge to draw the curtains and stay in during the dark nights, MyWellbeing College has launched a number of groups to encourage people to keep active and social throughout winter.

The MyFirst Steps groups, which are run by Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Champions Show the Way service, are designed to be accessed straight away and include walking groups across the district for all levels, creative groups such as crafts and writing, and mental wellbeing and peer support groups.

Gayle Porter, MyWellbeing College Manager, said: “We are working together with Champions Show the Way to incorporate the groups they run across the district into the MyWellbeing College service and website. By encouraging and helping people to get out socialising and keeping active it can really improve mental wellbeing, help people to relax, teach new skills and reduce feelings of loneliness, especially during the darker months.”

The MyWellbeing College, which is run by Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, already offers a range of opportunities to help people combat life’s ups and downs, from online courses that people can complete in the comfort of their own home, to getting out and meeting new people at group courses such as Mood Matters and Stress Control which aims to manage stress and anxiety effectively.

The new groups can support people who may not feel like they want to attend or complete a course but instead just need a boost to their mood or wellbeing.

Steven* who has accessed a number of groups through the Champions Show the Way service to help him get stronger and feel better following surgery, said: “I first attended a group early in 2015 after a period of physical illness and feeling low after surgery the previous year. The walking group welcomed me and we enjoyed gentle walks along the canal. These were ideal for me as I regained strength and the friendly social contact was a lifeline as I had become isolated and lacking in confidence.

“I also joined one of the mental wellbeing and peer support groups. This provided me with a safe, compassionate and listening space which really helped my progress. I gained a number of good friends from this group.”

Catherine Jowitt, who manages Champions Show the Way at the Trust, said: “I am delighted that through working with MyWellbeing College we are going to help even more people to get out, learn new skills and make new friends. A lot of our members that access our different groups have said how much of a difference it has made to their lives.”

The MyWellbeing College is open to anyone over the age of 16 who is registered with a GP in Bradford, Wharfedale, Airedale or Craven.

People don’t have to go through their GP to enrol on a course or group, they can register online at or give the enrolment team a call on 0300 555 5551 to chat through the range of options available, to view the group options visit the website and under courses select ‘MyFirst Steps’.

 *Name has been changed to protect confidentiality.