Sean Macleod from Newhaven FC has launched a mental health football programme with the aim to support and improve overall well-being to the local community.
The programme is aimed for individuals of all abilities who are 16+ and take place on a weekly basis every Wednesday evening 7pm-8pm at The Trafalgar Ground, Ford Ground, Newhaven, BN9 9DA.
The sessions are fun and are carried out in a safe and friendly environment with the opportunity to speak one on one with a mental health advisor.
Prior to the sessions, the club held a launch event on World Mental Health Day (Wednesday 10 October) which was a used as a networking opportunity along Q&A with special guest speaker Anwar Uddin, Diversity & Campaigns Manager from The Football Supporters’ Federation.
Newhaven have teamed up with the Sussex County FA, Sussex Disability Football League, Footballers Supporters’ Federation, Fans for Diversity and Kick it Out for this project to take off. All of the organisations are working together to build a solid foundation for the project and to benefit recreational football, with the aim of hosting a National Mental Health football tournament.
Anwar Uddin, who also leads on the Football Supporters’ Federation and Kick it Out Fans for Diversity Campaign spoke in depth about his football career as an ex-professional player and his experiences in the projects he has successfully supported.
Jade Harker, Football Development Officer at Sussex County FA shared how football has a positive impact on mental health related issues around the county and BBC Sussex also reported at the event.
Newhaven’s goal is to show how football can be used as a positive tool by coming together with local mental health providers to promote and provide how physical activity can lift moods and benefit general well-being.
Martin Garry, Newhaven club chairman said: “This is a great initiative that will help so many people in the community who need the support; football is a great opportunity to meet new friends with similar challenges in everyday life who will respect you for who you are.
“We have great facilities at our club and all of them will be available for this initiative to support people who are facing hidden challenges with limited support.
“We welcome everyone to the club and we have a commitment to support all individuals wherever we can. My special thanks to Sean and Jade who have offered up their time for this project”.
For further information on the project, please contact: