Harmony House, a registered service for adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs based in Hebburn, has arranged its own adapted sports day for staff and residents during the advised self-isolation period.

Staff have been providing one-to-one games of cricket and badminton to ensure residents are able to enjoy the fresh air and warmer weather, whilst still adhering to social distancing advice. Some residents have enjoyed activities including included badminton, garden cricket, bat and ball and football with goal post for football shooting.

Residents are also being encouraged to discover their green fingers and embrace the opportunity to plant their own flowers and produce. Gardening has many benefits for people’s mental and physical health including reducing stress and increasing physical activity.

Kelly Wilson, manager at Harmony House, said: “Both staff and residents are outdoing themselves and we couldn’t be prouder. One thing I have stressed to our staff is that although we may need to be under lockdown, we all still need to have fresh air for our own mental wellbeing.

“We have had a great response to the mini-sports day and gardening activities, fingers crossed the weather stays on our side so we can be out in the fresh air as much as possible.”

Angela Merrifield, a resident at Harmony House, said: “It’s really fun to get out and play some games with the staff, because they’re not as good at cricket as we are! I think that, when things are hard, you have to make the best of it, and the staff are doing a great job.”