Us Active

Empowering people through activity

Us Active was established in 2016 with the mission to support young people in the North East who are aged between 12 and 25 years with (or who are at risk of developing) mental health issues.

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Our Aims and Objectives

As a charity, we provide a bespoke offer of sports and physical activities to empower young people to transform their life’s, steered by an evidence-based approach which confirms the physical, mental, and social benefits derived from participating in sports related activities.

The work that we do with young people is tailored on an individual basis and responds to the needs and interests of each referral. This is supported by a team that is built from the education, health, and care sectors, all of whom are driven by expert knowledge in how to contribute to the appropriate plan of action for each young person we work with.

Whether it is 1-2-1 training sessions, group exercises, or any other sports or exercise related activities, we will always try our best to help a young person in need of our service.

Mental illness is very common

  • 1 in 10 children suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder- that is about 3 children in every class!
  • 1 in 4 adults have a common mental illness and more than half were diagnosed in childhood.
  • This is a big problem and additionally mental illness is often stigmatised and misunderstood. This leads to further unnecessary suffering.
  • Judgements are made about mental illness in a way they are not about physical illness.

Us Active Young People

Us Active is a charity with young people’s developmental success at its core. We are also committed to youth engagement activities which support a series events and opportunities for young people to become involved with mental health awareness raising projects.

What We Do

We are engaging young people aged 12 to 25 in sporting and physical activities. We know that exercise is good for you as it:

Helps socialisation
Improves mental and physical health
Can counter the side-effects of treatment, such as weight gain
Improves self- esteem and confidence
Is something that many people do not have access to
Can be fun!

We work with young people either individually or in small groups.

 One to One

Young people may need skill building and confidence development. We'll find a specialist coach to offer personalised training to advance them on their journey.
Various sports and exercise options exist in communities. We provide a keyworker for support in starting new activities, overcoming fears.


We develop groups which evolve from shared interests of the young people we are working with, fostering confidence, friendships, and commitment. Throughout the year – usually during school holidays – we offer US events.
US partners with organisations to support young people in our target group, identifying and arranging activities they'd enjoy, either one-off or regular. If you are a professional and work with a group of young people who have, or are at risk of mental health difficulties, why not get in touch ?


Registered with the Charity Commission.



First group with young people from Helping Hands in North Tyneside.


First two young person’s1:1 fitness programme at Sound Mind and Body gym.


Yoga retreat at Newcastle University’s Sports Centre.


We had our first 5 runners in the Great North Run.


US recruited to our Referrals and Activities Co-ordinator post, a role supporting young people onto and throughout their US Journey.


We held our event to introduce our patron - Dame Margaret Barbour DBE DL - and to celebrate our 3rd birthday. Our Guest speaker was Steve Cram, former World, European and Commonwealth Champion and World record holder of the mile.


Our first ever swimming lesson!


US Active moved our activities offer online to make sure support could continue during the pandemic.


‘Get Online Get Active’ (GOGA) launched to offer all young people in lockdown access to online sport and exercise sessions; yoga, street dance, strength and conditioning



With funding from RISE, we recruited a Youth Engagement Officer to further development the role of young people within US Active.



Our first self-defence session delivered for the young women from Gatehead’s Young Woman’s Outreach Project.


A popular season for horse riding.


Some of our young people created short films to explain how US had supported them – find them on You Tube.


5-aside football at NUCASTLE as part of our half term activities.


660+ young people have taken part in US Activities, including 203 one to ones, 97 groups and 94 young people supported to access activities in the community.


Our inaugural US May Ball – Ties, Tiaras and Trainers.

Meet The Us Active Team


Dr Mary Jane Tacchi

A consultant adult psychiatrist with a mission to reduce stigma and put mental health on a par with physical health.

Dr Adi Sharma

A child and adolescent psychiatrist whose enthusiasm knows no bounds and who lives and breathes his commitment to young people.

Dr Jane Erridge

A retired GP with a commitment to young people’s health and wellbeing.

Kamni Puri

A chartered accountant with a keen interest in nutrition and the impact of food and exercise on mood and well being.


Suzanne McFarlane

Chief Operaing Officer

Lucy Steel

Referrals and Activities Co-ordinator

Sarah Cooper


Key Workers

Alex Rowland

Key Worker

Beth Veitch

Key Worker

Dani Atkinson

Key Worker

Lois Egerton

Key Worker

What Happens Next?

Any questions?

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More About Us

Find out more about what we do by visiting out blog.