A SCHEME that helps people with their mental health struggles through exercise has won a prestigious accreditation for its contribution to Bolton.

Sam's Warriors (spelt Sam’s Warr;ors) was awarded the ‘Bolton Mark’ accreditation for making a positive contribution to the area on Wednesday.

Sam Ormrod, 36, from Horwich, set up the group after battling struggles of his own and is now helping people rediscover themselves through healthy lives and minds, with exercise and alternative therapies.

He said: “From being young, I had years of mental health problems. I developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), was drinking every day and from that, exercise found its way into my life.

“I decided to make a change, checked into rehab and engaged with therapy and exercise. I wanted to bring that support to others and for them to meet similar, like - minded people.”

The accreditation is awarded to ‘safe, friendly and effective’ organisations for their contributions working with Bolton communities.

With help from his wife Katie, the group has grown quickly since it began in September, as Sam has 12 other volunteers on board.

In going from strength to strength, Sam’s Warriors are now working with Arch Initiative on new drop-ins for people battling alcohol problems and are planning on bringing in mindfulness and yoga classes since receiving £10,000 of National Lottery funding.

“You see people come to the sessions really anxious, but after just one session you can always see a difference,” said Sam.

“It can make them totally different people. Even now, I still struggle to deal with aspects of my mental health but for what has helped me, I am trying to put into practice for others.”

Sam's Warr;ors is spelt with a semi-colon to represent the mental health symbol, used as a message of affirmation and support against suicide, depression, addiction, and other mental health issues people face.

To help take steps towards battling mental health, the scheme offers a one to two-mile walk and run on Mondays and Thursdays, along with a peer support group on Wednesday evenings, meeting at St Mary’s FC in Horwich.

For more information on Sam’s efforts or to be involved, contact 07553 811 590 or visit their Facebook page Sam’s Warr;ors.