It was a bright and sunny day for the Get Set To Go participants, who were delighted to return to their outdoor activities again after a long and arduous winter lockdown.

The Get Set To Go programme, delivered by Carlisle and Eden Mind, alongside Active Cumbria and Carlisle United Community Sports Trust, was launched to help people engage in more physical activity to improve their physical and mental health.

The scheme's Friday exercise sessions were put on hold in December, but since April 9 they have been able to start again in line with the Government’s easing of lockdown restrictions.

“I’ve been stuck at home with my kids doing homework, so I’ve not been getting out,” said participant Sarah, who has been coming to the sessions since they first started in September 2020.

“Its good for your mental health and it helps with weight loss, which is why I’m doing it.”

Mark, who has also been coming along since September, said: “It’s just getting out and about, taking yourself out of your comfort zone and being around other people.

“It’s tough at the start, but afterwards you’re always glad that you came along.”

Carlisle United Community Sports Trust community assistant manager, James Tose, was the man putting the group through their paces.

James, who normally runs the sessions alongside his colleague, Emma Crook, said making people feel comfortable was the key to the success of the sessions.

James said: “We’re really eager to get things going again and we saw the positive impact it had in September.

"It’s not so much about doing the exercise and how good they feel afterwards.

“Sometimes people just want to come along and watch and have a chat, and it gives them a bit of purpose on a Friday.

“Myself and Emma try and put as much enthusiasm into it as we can and we try to make everybody feel comfortable.

“It’s not about who does the most or who finishes first, its just about trying.”

James emphasised the importance of exercise groups, like Get Set To Go, in supporting people as they come out of lockdown and look to kickstart their lives again. 

He added:"I think the second lockdown has caused a lot more anxiety and stress. 

"As a stress buster, excercise is fantastic, but it's also about being able to get out of the house again."

Commenting on what it was like to have the exercise sessions back on again, Get Set To Go co-ordinator, Lisa Anderson said: "I just think it's absolutely brilliant.

"Lockdown was so hard for everybody, and some of these people have been stuck inside for so long.

"They're clearly so happy to be here.

"It gives them a big boost, and they'll tell me that that boost lasts until the weekend, or until they come on the walks the week after."

Carlisle and Eden Mind also run a weekly walking group on a Tuesday.

If you would like to get involved with the Get Set To Go sessions, or know someone who would, email

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