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Headshot of Matt Waugh next to a dark blue live more logo ;

Nursing student helps patients 'Live More'

Live More is a service supporting people to improve their mental health with sport.

The service was set up by postgraduate mental health nursing student Matt Waugh, from the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care, in 2018. Recognising the programme's potential, Matt was awarded a place on the King’s20 Accelerator, part of King's Entrepreneurship Institute, and 2019 has seen him go from strength to strength.

Live More was piloted in 2019, when 100 mental health hospital inpatients were supported to take part in daily sporting activity. This helped create positive identity, structure and improved health, supporting their recovery from severe mental illness. 

It's the world's smallest but greatest gym– Patient participant of Live More

Award-winning pitch

As part of the King's20 Accelerator programme, Matt had the opportunity to pitch to a panel of business leaders in February.

Having presented Live More, Matt was awarded an Allesch-Taylor Scholarship of £5,000, to help develop his idea. The award is named after, and judged by, Stefan Allesch-Taylor, Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship at King’s.


Matt, alongside Divisional Medical Director Dr Jo Emmanuel, was also a winner of the Medopad Greatest Minds in the NHS Competition, which asked NHS clinicians to submit ideas to transform patient care pathways, improve standard of care or kickstart new clinical research with the use of Medopad’s app platform.

Live More has now been made the basis of an app, to be offered to Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) patients.

The app presents an opportunity to support patients through lifestyle change, connecting patients with sport, while tracking their activity levels and mood.

Within CNWL NHS Trust, Matt has utilised a health & wellbeing grant to improve exercise equipment on the wards at St Charles Hospital, so that staff can regularly exercise alongside patients. 

Bethan Davies, activities coordinator on one hospital ward, said: "What made the most impact on the patients’ lives is how the gym gave them a reason to wake up. Unlike the other groups, there is progression in the gym and mental reward that comes at the end of the session."


Mentorship opportunity

In May, Matt achieved further success through King's opportunities, successfully obtaining a mentorship scholarship, aiming to support the performance and potential of individuals and their team.

Matt presented his theme, "How exercise can give hope to people with mental illness", to an audience of seventy investors, mentors, King’s students, staff and alumni at an evening at Bush House.

The judges assessed the entrepreneurial attributes and leadership skills that participants demonstrated, and Matt was awarded a mentorship scholarship from King’s alumnus and Entrepreneur in Residence David Walsh.

You can hear Matt's thoughts about his mentorship opportunity below:

Future aspirations

I struggled with my mental health after I left school. Exercise was the best treatment I ever had. It gave me structure, confidence, hope and purpose!– Matt Waugh

Building on this success, Matt aspires to grow Live More as a company, once he qualifies as a psychiatric nurse. He wants to use the power of sport to improve mental health and create employment opportunities. 

He said: "I want Live More to improve mental health through sport on a global scale."

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