FORMER British tennis ace Tim Henman and current number one British wheelchair player Lucy Shuker have helped launch a £1.5million sports project which will benefit people with mental health issues across Dorset.

Sport in Mind, an independent mental health charity, was joined by the tennis players to launch the initiative which has received £830,000 funding from Sport England.

The charity will work alongside NHS trusts across Dorset and the south east.

Sport in Mind founder Neil Harris said: "Sport in Mind are very pleased and honoured to be joined by Tim and Lucy to launch this Sport England funded project with our NHS partners.

"We’re all incredibly excited to get this project up and running and using sport to help combat isolation and improve the lives of local people experiencing mental health problems."

The charity, formed in 2010, operates to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems through sport and physical activity.

Its new project will provide sport and physical activity groups for people experiencing mental health problems in the community. It will also provide services in inpatient care in order to help people get active when they are most unwell.

Sport in Mind’s work, which has supported the recovery of over 10,000 people to date, has recently been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest award a charity can receive.