Cumberland FA, in partnership with Active Cumbria & Every Life Matters, launched a Mental Health Football Session in Workington this week.
During the 6-week introduction of the programme, the sessions, every Thursday from 5:30-6:30pm are free and open to anyone aged 18+ who feel like they may benefit from this session regardless of ability or fitness.
The sessions take place at Workington Leisure Centre (in the outdoor pens).
We want this to be an inclusive space for people to have fun and find a safe space to talk and share their worries.
The Mental Health Football session in Workington has been introduced to mirror similar sessions in Carlisle and Whitehaven which have been successfully introduced and proved popular.
These sessions have provided people with regular, fun exercise that has been beneficial for their physical health and, perhaps more importantly, provided a place to come and socialise with others and form a support group.
Football Development Officer Ray Sempill said: “The sessions are designed to be relaxed kick arounds once a week. Then we aim to develop routes for further support and link with existing local support groups as an option for people as well as the football.
We will be developing the sessions based on the needs and wants of the participants and will be tapping into some of the organisations who do fantastic work in this area, such as Every Life Matters, West House, Active Cumbria and anyone else who would like to become part of and add value to this project.
We recognise the pressures that have been put on people over the last few years and the difficulties that society are currently facing. We want these sessions to be safe and inclusive environments, where people can feel comfortable sharing their worries and can access support as well as having a kick around.”
Physical activity has huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. Even a short burst of activity increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood.
Ian Alcock, the Suicide Safer Community Co-ordinator Allerdale and Copeland commented on the importance of these types of sessions: “In order to look after our mental health we also need to be spending time looking after out physical health as well that’s why we are really excited to be developing regular mental health football sessions with Cumberland FA and Active Cumbria.
There are a number of brilliant mental health services and we want to use these sessions as a way of signposting people to the other help that may be available locally.”
Sadly, we know that around 75% of all suicides are men so we want to encourage people in any way we can to be open and talk about the way they are feeling, there is always someone who will listen.
If you are worried about a friend or family member then simply be brave enough to ask them, you can find out more information on how to support someone with thoughts of suicide at every-life-matters.org.uk
Cameron Wilson commented on the programme: "Active Cumbria are pleased to be involved in this project. The sessions will be very much based on having a kick around, not too much structure just facilitating play, very much based on the needs of those attending with plenty of social opportunities before, during and after the sessions. We are looking forward to supporting the development of the session and engaging new audiences in physical activity."
If you are interested in coming along to the session, or know someone who would benefit from coming along or would like a general chat about the sessions, please call Ray Sempill on 01900 511800 or email Development@CumberlandFA.com
Sessions take place on Thursday's between 5:30 - 6:30pm at Workington Leisure Centre