The Speak In Club
1702. Elliott Cousins
Elliott Cousins, from Bradford, founded ‘The Speak In Club’, an organisation that combats mens, womens, and young people’s mental health issues through exercise in an open and confidential environment.
Elliott founded the initiative after his own experiences with mental health difficulties, turning to drug and alcohol use as a coping mechanism before he was encouraged by his father to seek therapy. Realising how beneficial being active was to improving his wellbeing, Elliott was inspired to launch ‘The Speak In Club’ to encourage other people to open up about mental health difficulties, using exercise as a means for creating a safe space for discussion, building confidence and developing a healthier, active lifestyle for participants. ‘The Speak In Club’ runs at three locations in the heart of Bradford, running a range of services such as regular walks and talks, boot camps, baby and toddler groups, and one-to-one therapy with mental health professionals, personal trainers, nutritionists, and behavioural support specialists.
In a personal letter to Elliott, Prime Minister Boris Johnson:
“Congratulations on the fantastic success of ‘The Speak In Club’. From bootcamps, to walk and talk, and even brews and biscuits, your groups are helping old and young alike across Bradford come together.
“From your own mental health journey, you know the importance of exercise on mental wellbeing. So it is brilliant that you have found activities that improve both physical and mental health, while tackling isolation and loneliness.”
In response to receiving the award, Elliott said:
“I’m so honoured to be recognised for the Points of Light award. This is a huge accolade not only on a personal note, but also for an organisation. I’m only a small link of a huge chain of fantastic amazing volunteers who are all aiming to help men, women and children combat mental ill health through an active lifestyle.”