OCL providing exercise opportunities as part of National Grief Awareness Week

Date published: 05 December 2020

Oldham Active Communities, part of Oldham Community Leisure (OCL), is providing free physical activity opportunities for anyone affected by grief, as part of The Good Grief Trusts’ National Grief Awareness Week (December 2-8).

The annual campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact of grief on a national platform and ensure those needing help are aware of the breadth of support services available across the UK.

OCL is the first leisure trust to be providing physical activity opportunities as part of this national campaign.

OCL’s free programme includes a virtual yoga session, a HIIT work out and a Pilates class, as well as hosting a virtual walking challenge, encouraging people to go for a walk.

These will be posted on the Oldham Active Communities’ and Good Grief Trust’s Facebook pages.

OCL is passionate about the positive impact exercise has on people’s mental and physical health and believes physical activity is a powerful tool to support grieving individuals.

Mark Woodcock, Health and Well Being Advisor, Oldham Active Communities, said: “Exercise increases your sense of wellbeing and has some direct stress-busting benefits.

"Physical activity increases the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, endorphins.

"Studies also show we burn up stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, when we exercise.

“It’s is also an excellent coping strategy; focusing the brain away from worry and acting as a distraction from stress. Exercise may not extinguish grief but it can play a vital role in helping people adapt to loss.”

Details of OCL’s Grief Awareness Week programme can be found at:



The Good Grief Trust has arranged for numerous venues across Greater Manchester to be lit up in yellow from 6pm until midnight on December 8, in remembrance of those who have died and to show support for those who are grieving.

The buildings include Oldham Leisure Centre, NHS NCA Hospitals, Media City, Lowry Theatre, Bury Town Hall, Bolton Town Hall, Rochdale Bridge, Stockport Town Hall, Trafford Town Hall, Wigan and Leigh Town Halls, Oldham Civic Centre, Albert Halls Bolton, Oldham Coliseum, Manchester Art Gallery, Stockport Plaza, Salford Arts Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre and the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Woodcook added: “Lighting up our buildings signals to the Greater Manchester community that we are remembering those who have been lost and are here to support those left behind.”

A full programme of National Grief Week activities can be found at: http://nationalgriefawarenessweek.org/

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