Men’s mental health initiative shortlisted for prestigious award

All to Play For - Active Norfolk and the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust men's wellbeing pr

All to Play For - Active Norfolk and the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust men's wellbeing project which encourages men to monitor and take good care of their mental health, while improving the accessibility of help and support services. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

An innovative group which helps men to tackle mental health issues has been shortlisted for a top national award.

The All To Play For initiative, which is spearheaded by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in partnership with Active Norfolk and the Premier Foundation, has been shortlisted in the innovation in mental health category of the Health Business Awards.

It comes after All To Play For was named as community project of the year in the Norfolk FA Grassroots Football Awards during the summer.

Sessions are open to any men – both in and out of mental health services – who feel they need extra support with their wellbeing, while giving them the chance to take part in a game led by a qualified coach while socialising with others.

After the kickabout, they can attend informal drop-in sessions where they can get information and advice from different support services on subjects such as finance, gambling and housing.

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Andy Fisk, community mental health nurse with NSFT helps run the sessions. He said: 'We're delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious national award, which is a reflection on just how successful the project has been so far.

'We've been blown away by the popularity of the sessions which have taken place so far. Feedback shows they are helping to improve wellbeing, boost low mood and reduce anxiety, while they also offer a valuable opportunity to meet other people and help tackle social isolation.

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'The morning session in Norwich will give us the chance to offer vital support to even more men, and we would encourage anyone who feels they need extra help with their wellbeing to come along and give it a try.'

Sam Watts, project officer at Active Norfolk, added: 'I'm delighted to see the impact the project has had locally is being recognised nationally by being shortlisted for this award. The project continues to support more men in Norfolk by tackling social isolation, increasing accessibility in to support services and uniting like-minded men. The Norwich morning session will only increase the opportunity for more men to get involved.'

Four All to Play For sessions are currently available for men who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. They take place at:

• Great Yarmouth Town FC, Wellesley Stadium, Sandown Road, Great Yarmouth – every Wednesday from 10am to 11am

• FDC in Bowthorpe, Bowthorpe Park, Norwich – every Wednesday from 1.30pm to 2.30pm

• Heartsease, Open Academy, Salhouse Road, Norwich – every Thursday 8pm to 9pm

• Goals Centre, Hall Road, Norwich – every Thursday from 10am to 11am

For more information or to join a session, contact Sam Watts from Active Norfolk on 01603 731 564 or by emailing

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