Patients at Prospect Park Hospital are making use of a new table tennis table thanks to a donation from Table Tennis England.

The table is part of the recently refurbished gym at the hospital, which is run as a joint venture between Berkshire Healthcare and Sport in Mind. Sport in Mind is a local charity that helps tackle mental health problems through physical exercise and on World Mental Health Day last week, all three organisations played a tournament to mark the arrival of the new table.

When one in four of us will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in our lives, it’s increasingly important to invest resources in recovery programmes for patients.

Research shows that even light exercise can reduce depression, but low intensity, aerobic exercises such as table tennis, have been proven as the best at increasing positive mood. Table tennis improves cognitive function, develops your social skills and improves confidence.

Sophie Widdison, Occupational therapist at Berkshire Healthcare said:

“The table is one of most popular parts of our gym. It’s something lots of us have done at some point in our life so it is a good stepping stone in getting people back into exercise.”

David Townsend, Chief Operating Officer, Berkshire Healthcare added:

“Thank you to Table Tennis England, this is a great contribution which I am sure the patients and staff at Prospect Park Hospital will thoroughly enjoy.”

Emily St John, Head of Development at Table Tennis England, went to visit the hospital on World Mental Health Day, and commented

“We are delighted to be supporting Sport in Mind and Berkshire Healthcare in helping people benefit from the physical and mental well-being benefits of taking part in table tennis.

“The feedback from patients and staff has been incredibly encouraging and the opportunity to play in hospital, transition to a dedicated community sessions and then into a local club provides a wonderful pathway into the sport.”

Table Tennis England offers subsidised table grants to any organisation, charity or community centre that is working to get players who suffer from mental illness playing table tennis. If you think you could be eligible, email Helen Dennett on: [email protected]