your 5 day health & well-being challenge

We want you to have a great experience of the festival and feel happy and good about yourself while you are there, so we are placing health and wellbeing at the heart of everything we are doing.

There is evidence that wellbeing is based on your situation in life; your relationships with others; the things that you do; the life skills you have; the things that have happened to you; and how resilient you are. These things affect how well you feel, and how well you deal with what life throws at you. However, there are ways to improve your mental wellbeing and increase feelings of happiness and fulfilment, and that you are getting the best out of your life.

During the Innovation Festival you will have the opportunity to sign up to two challenges:


The Innovation Big Walk

Our aim is to collectively walk from Gosforth to Lake Victoria in Tanzania and back, over the course of the innovation week, a total of 12,578 miles! Log your daily steps in the App and we’ll track our collective progress each day. Those who contribute over 32,000 steps during the week will be entered into a prize draw – a fantastic long weekend in a lodge at Kielder! Find out more information here

To sign up to both challenges click the button below:


The Innovation Wellbeing Challenge - Sponsored by Esh MWH

During the festival we are challenging you to explore each of the 5 ways to wellbeing. We will be focusing on each one daily. We have a number of fantastic activities for you to try each day – you can find out more information below.

"Research has found that there are 5 ways which help people to improve their mental wellbeing.  Just as we can eat ‘5 a day’ of fruit and vegetables to improve our physical health, there are 5 ways that we can use to improve our mental wellbeing".


There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages

Keep Learning

Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunityto engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression.

Be Active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.

Take Notice

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.


Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.


During the 5 days, New College Durham will be supporting with our Health and Wellbeing activities - Mairi Bell, Work Experience CSC from New College Durham said:

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‘New College Durham is delighted to be supporting the Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival this year. Our Sixth Form Centre students who are aspiring to be teachers will be supporting the daily school STEM Activities supporting the enhancement of the skills and knowledge of children across Tyne and Wear. Health & Social Care students are supporting the theme of the day ‘ Keep Learning’ by giving demonstrations on CPR and allowing people to experience simulation suits, CPR events provide lifesaving skills amongst the community helping others to learn essential lifesaving steps and what to do in an emergency. Our Sports students will be supporting ‘ Be Active’ and will lead and support stretches and low impact exercises to get people moving, supporting health and wellbeing. Art & Design students are supporting ‘ Take Notice’ and running sessions around mindfulness and displaying their ‘ No Waste ‘ fashion designs made from recycled produce. Our Graphic Design & Media students will be capturing the day through illustrations, interviews and film.

 We are very privileged to be asked to take part in a local event which seeks to change the world by coming up with innovative solutions to global problems’.