Young girls struggling with mental health problems are getting help with gymnastics and other sports in a therapeutic environment.

A programme run by north London’s Noa charity has been expanded with a £40,000 gift from the Freemasons organisation.

More than 80 girls from the Orthodox Jewish community are being helped with stress — in many cases traumatic life events that can leave them feeling isolated.

“The Freemasons’ grant is enabling us to expand our personal fitness programme for vulnerable girls,” Noa charity’s Naomi Lerer explained. “We know how transformative improving physical wellbeing can be for their mental health.”

The programme helps self-confidence and positive attitude by getting girls involved in sport such as gymnastics, ice-skating and even kickboxing in a safe, therapeutic space.

This overcomes barriers such as cultural, financial hardship or lack of access.

It also raises communal awareness of the connection between mental health and physical wellbeing and encourages girls to integrate sports activity into their daily lives.