A local group in Peebles has made plans to expand their sport activities to target mental wellbeing.

Peebles and District Round Table is hoping to tackle mental health through their sport group activities, starting with the Parkrun last month.

Chair Sean Byrne said: "As a group we decided to focus on promoting health and wellbeing this year."

The group took over marshalling duties at the Haylodge Parkrun last month, on Saturday April 27.

A growing number of local round tablers have been running every week, so they decided to take over the marshalling as a ‘thank you’ to support the local community and the other runners.

The Round Table are well known locally for their tremendous fundraising efforts for local groups, and for putting on the annual November fireworks display and pulling Santa's Sleigh around the community at Christmas.

The Parkrun fits into the Round Table's wider ambitions and theme this year: encouraging and supporting physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Sean said: “The local Parkrun event is fantastic, and having offered financial support previously, we were delighted to also provide volunteer support too.

“We are going to be looking for other ways in which we can support the local community, beyond and in addition to our usual fundraising efforts, with a particular focus on mental health and the extended benefits of physical activity.”

Statistics published by Mental Health Foundation Scotland in November 2018 indicate that over half of men reported feelings of anxiety as a result of stress, which was impacting sleep, and a third of men reporting that they used alcohol to cope or had experienced suicidal thoughts.

Men in particular are much less likely to have a good support network or open up to family and friends about their mental health.

Sean added: “Being a member of the Round Table provides a great support network. We share a host of social and sporting activities, such as those of us who regularly run the Parkrun.

“Even a 30-minute run a week has physical and mental health benefits and it feels great just to get out running with the guys every week.”

Peebles and District Round Table is open to men aged 18 to 45 interested in supporting the local community.

They have a monthly business meeting, to plan and organise fundraising and events, as well as regular social and sporting activities, summer barbecues, a range of family events , and an annual trip.

Anyone interested in getting involved or hearing more should contact Sean Byrne at peeblesanddistrictroundtable@gmail.com.

Haylodge Parkrun was set up in November 2018, and regularly has around 100 people running the 5km course, following the national Parkrun format.

Parkrun is not a race, and is open to everyone, of any age and any fitness level. The idea is to provide an easy opportunity for anyone to get out running regularly, to support the physical fitness and mental health of the local community.

Each week up to 14 volunteers are required to marshall the event. Anyone interested in running or marshalling can find all the details at parkrun.org.uk/haylodge.