Over 200 local people took part in activities ranging from walking cricket to music classes at Lord’s as The Home of Cricket opened its doors to mark World Mental Health Day.

The event was part of a joint project led by MCC and MIND Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster aimed at both raising awareness and helping people with a range of mental health and well-being challenges through weekly physical and group activity sessions run by staff from MCC’s community department.

The project, which initially ran for six weeks over the summer, has now been extended after three quarters (75 per cent) of those on the programme reported improvements to their mental health and well-being.

They were joined at Lord’s by over 100 local school children from St Augustine’s and St Vincent’s schools who took part in cricket sessions and mental health conversation workshops run by Opening Up Cricket, a mental health and suicide prevention charity, supported by current England international Kate Cross.

MCC President Stephen Fry, who is also President of MIND, recorded a special video to mark the event and said: “World Mental Health Day is a vital reminder of the acceptance, awareness and understanding of mental health and as President of both MCC and MIND, it’s fantastic to see Lord’s welcoming both young and old members of the local community to come together for fun activities, workshops and more.

"Physical activity, and in particular group physical activity, has been proven to improve mental health. It can help manage stress and anxiety, it can make you feel better about yourself, and it can help you connect with other people and help you make new friends.”

Ricky Reynolds, MCC’s Head of Community and Inclusion, added: "It was a great way to celebrate World Mental Health Day and highlight the role that cricket can play in in tackling a range of mental health challenges.

"We know how important physical and group activity can be, but one of the things we learned from the programme during the summer was how important hosting the sessions at Lord’s was for those taking part.

"Our aim is to grow the programme so that we, alongside MIND, can help even more people from our local community who might be struggling with their mental health.”

*World Mental Health Day takes place every year and is supported by the World Health Organisation. This year’s theme was ‘make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority’.