Football project supporting those with mental health issues recognised at prestigious awards night
- Credit: Archant
Whether it is a kick around at the park or walking out in front of an 80,000 strong crowd at Wembley, there is a level for everybody in football.
A project which uses the beautiful game to engage young men who are struggling with their mental health has been recognised at the Health Business Awards.
All to Play For project which hosts sessions in Norwich and Great Yarmouth was commended in the Innovation in Mental Health category at the awards night in London earlier this month.
The commendation follows on from earlier success during the summer when the programme was named as the Community Project of the Year in the FA Grassroots Football Awards.
The awards celebrate distinction and improvement projects across the NHS.
Men in the groups which have been running for the past year suffer from a range of complex issues including drug misuse, homelessness, anxiety and depression.
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The project is delivered through partners Premier Activate.
Chief executive of Premier Foundation, Amelia Epton, was delighted to see the programme gain recognition at such a prestigious awards event.
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She said: 'Our programme is a fantastic demonstration of community collaboration with Active Norfolk, NHS Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust and Premier Foundation who together have been instrumental in creating change.
'The programme is being supported by NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group which has allowed us the vital funding to deliver sessions which use the initiative angle of using sport as a vehicle to make change in mental health.
'This has seen such powerful improvements in many since the inception of the courses and we are delighted to be a part of making such as difference.'
In the programme's infancy the sessions had very few numbers but as trust and confidence was built each week, the numbers increased.
Fitness levels of those taking part have improved so much that participants can now play entire tournaments.
Beforehand they struggled to play for ten minutes.
Sessions in Norwich are held at Hewett School every Thursday while Wellesley Stadium in Great Yarmouth hosts sessions every Wednesday.
Premier Foundation aims to actively change lives, for more information about the Premier Foundation visit www.premierfoundation.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.