Football sessions for men kickoff again in Norwich and Great Yarmouth

Posted: Fri, 04 Sep 2020 09:42

Football sessions for men kickoff again in Norwich and Great Yarmouth

The football programme that's helping men relieve stress and anxiety through sport is kicking off again after suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Monday 7th September, All to Play For sessions are relaunching in Norwich and Great Yarmouth, giving men from the local area a place to get a good kickabout and meet other men who share similar stresses and anxieties.

The weekly sessions are free for men to drop in to, but have been on hold since March when lockdown measures were put in place. Active Norfolk Project Officer Sam Watts, who administers the programme alongside Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), has been working with the Norfolk County Football Association to make sure that measures are in place so that sessions are COVID-safe to enable men to return to the pitch as soon as possible.

Sam said, "The return of the sessions is an important step in helping local men deal with the pressures and stress that will have been mounting due to the pandemic. With the new safety guidelines in place, we've begun contacting previous participants to let them know that sessions are back on, and we're ready to welcome other men to the sessions who feel they could benefit from the programme."

Since it started in 2018, All to Play For has been recognised as an effective programme that's helping men who are living with mild to moderate mental health issues to have a place to relieve stress, meet other men in similar situations, and get some exercise.

The sessions have made a significant and positive impact on the lives of participants. Perry H., who attends one of the sessions, said "Since joining "All to Play For" I've felt much better about myself after meeting people who have suffered with mental health issues. Feeling like I am not alone in my experience makes me feel much better about myself."

All to Play For is also highly regarded by NSFT's Well-being Service, who have acknowledged the important role that the football sessions play in supporting the mental health of those that take part. Kelvin Colbourn, Local Associate Coordinator with the Wellbeing Service, said "We are really looking forward to supporting 'All To Play For' again. It was such a help to all that attended and it would've left a huge gap in the boys weekly routine and may have had a detrimental effect on their mental health. With the welcome return and working in partnership with Active Norfolk, I believe we can build this back up to have a real positive impact on all the participants and help them reach a better place both mentally and physically."

Find out more about the programme, upcoming sessions, and the partners who are making it happen at https://www.activenorfolk.org/all-to-play-for

Tags: All to Play For, football, mental health