All To Play For
A weekly socially inclusive drop-in football programme for men struggling with poor mental health has made a significant and positive impact on the lives of participants. At each session, mental health professionals and local support services are present to offer assistance and guidance for those who want to access it.
All To Play For sessions
Please note that All to Play For sessions have been suspended again following the coronavirus outbreak. If you require support during this time, you can either get in touch with NSFT's First Response telephone support for immediate support, or check out Wellbeing Service Social Support for virtual socials to get involved with.
When play is allowed to resume, rest assured that guidelines will be in place to maximise players safety at the events. You can watch the Norfolk FA video that shares key information about returning to football.
Great Yarmouth Town FC, Wellesley Stadium, Sandown Road, Gt Yarmouth, NR30 1EY
Weds 9th Dec 2020
10 – 11am
The FDC in Bowthorpe, Bowthorpe Park, Norwich, NR5 9ED
Weds 9th Dec 2020
1.30 – 2.30pm
GOALS Norwich, Hewitt School, Hall Rd, NR1 2GB
Thurs 10 Dec 2020
1.30 – 2.30pm
Open Academy, Salhouse Road, Norwich NR7 9DL
Mon 7 Dec 2020
8 - 9pm
Please note there may be some changes in place when moving through indoor facilities (Goals and FDC Bowthorpe) and a mask may be required so please bring one with you if you are attending either The FDC Bowthorpe and/or Goals sessions.
Masks will not be needed when playing or watching outdoors.
If you have symptoms, are self-isolating, in quarantine, or live in a household with someone with Covid-19 symptoms, then please do not attend sessions and follow the latest government guidance.
Guidance on restarting outdoor football (PDF, 145 Kb)
About All to Play For
When Active Norfolk was approached by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) in 2017 about the need to bridge the gap between men suffering with mental health problems and the services that are available to them, the two organisations partnered together to devise a programme that would offer free football drop-in sessions in Bowthorpe, Norwich for men with poor mental health while giving attendees access to vital support services they may not have been aware of.
For those who have been able to attend All To Play For so far, the impact it has made on their lives has been significant, with participants almost universally reporting an upturn in personal confidence which has, in many cases, led to other positive lifestyle changes.
Three years since those first Bowthorpe sessions, and Active Norfolk has rolled out two additional All to Play For sessions in Norwich and Great Yarmouth, to give more men the chance to benefit from judgement-free fun activity sessions while providing access to vital mental health support services at the same.
While the success of the programme has been a lifeline for many men with mental health problems in Norfolk, there is still work to do. Active Norfolk is committed to rolling out the programme across the County to give more men with mental health problems access to fun and inclusive activity sessions and important support services.
The programme has benefited from the involvement of a number of local organisations including the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), The Football Development Centre, provided by the Norfolk FA and the Premier Foundation.
What participants say:
"Overall, I’ve enjoyed the “All to Play For” sessions. I’ve found it lifts my mood and allows me to be social once a week. I found the course has lifted my confidence but there’s still a way to go."
"I am a clinical support worker working in the Community Mental Health Early Intervention Team. It has helped service users build confidence and I feel the session helps to reduce barriers and stigma related to mental health. The session provides so much enjoyment. It doesn’t matter what are our backgrounds, job roles, abilities, it is just a group of men all doing something they love and all are equal."
"Doing this has encouraged me to go to the gym twice a week and football two more times. It all started here. I’ve loved making new friends and socialising. I’m currently in hospital on a section so I don’t really get the chance to do so a lot. My mental state is more positive due to this group, it gives me something to look forward to and gives me a sense of purpose."
Read the latest project report
All to Play For report (PDF, 715 Kb)
For more information on this project contact Sam Watts using the information below
Physical Activity Project Officer
- Physical activity for inactive adults
- Mental health, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal health
- Respiratory health
- Locality Support Officer - Breckland
- 01603 731564