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British Weight Lifting and The Soma Space - Movement for Mental Health

We’re thrilled to announce that British Weight Lifting and The Soma Space are working together to bring strength training combined with mental health education to more people in Shropshire.

British Weight Lifting and The Soma Space - Movement for Mental Health

Founded by Strength Coach Jo Hazell-Watkins and Psychotherapist Kevin Braddock MBACP, The Soma Space is a unique not-for-profit organisation established in 2023. They specialise in working with individuals to improve their mental health and assist recovery from mental illness using a combination of strength training, exercise, psychoeducation and psychotherapy.

Through the partnership, places will be available for targeted individuals to access The Soma Space’s specialist services, including combining personal training and psychotherapy to overcome challenges and build all-round physical and mental health.

"We are delighted to receive this support from British Weightlifting. Working in collaboration with BWL will enable us to work with more people in our community to participate in strength training, who may never have considered a gym environment as a place for them due to psychological and emotional barriers. We've been building our practice with The Soma Space since 2020 and this partnership with a prestigious organisation will maximise its potential. Were really looking forward to what we The Soma Space and BWL can achieve together" Jo Hazell-Watkins, Soma Space.

During the next 12 months, we’ll be working together to share examples and stories about the project, to raise awareness about the relationship between strength training and mental health, and the approach taken by The Soma Space.

As a governing body of sport, we’re also particularly interested to be working with The Soma Space to learn more about the application of a therapeutic approach to strength training.

“This model might be an effective offer to health providers and organisations who may not have previously considered strength-based exercise to support the wellbeing of individuals” Hannah Bussey, British Weight Lifting.

There are a range of ways individuals and groups can work with The Soma Space to assist recovery from mental ill health and enhance all-round wellbeing.

Services at The Soma Space are not intended to replace or conflict with advice given by participants’ GPs or other health professionals, and Jo and Kevin are established and accredited in their practice.

For more details, please visit:

Other Soma Sessions

Want to work on your physical and mental health at the same time? Soma Membership starts at just £35 for five sessions over four weeks

Weekly group sessions include:

  • Energy & Flow – Raising energy with boxercise, flowing into form with Tai Chi
  • The Mothership – Strength & Conditioning for the heavy lifting of motherhood
  • Slam Session - Let it out and sweat it out with slam balls, padwork and weights
  • Affirmative Movement – LGBTQ+ Strength training in an inclusive and mental health-affirmative space
  • Strong Fridays and Stronger Sundays – Open studio strength training, do your own thing or follow the workout of the day, supervised by a PT.


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