Sunday 10th October 2021, local mental health charity Kick Start FC hosted a ‘mixed-gender’ football fixture at the Wellington Academy in Ludgershall to raise awareness and play their part for World Mental Health Day.
38 men and women who regularly attend the weekly Kick Start FC football sessions came together for the occasion to show that poor mental health doesn’t discriminate and effects people of all ages, genders and ethnicities.
Prior to kick off Kick Start FC held a minute silence as a mark of respect for those who have sadly lost their battle with to poor mental health. It was reported that their were 5,224 suicides here in the UK in 2020.
As spectators looked on from the side lines they were able to create a better understanding of the culture that has been embedded into Kick Start FC. Encouragement, communication and enjoyment playing a key part in the game on display.
After the game Kick Start FC held a function with live music, buffet and a raffle with prizes donated by Salisbury FC, Swindon Town FC and local businesses. £647 was raised which will help Kick Start FC fund new projects away from the football pitch and reach out to help more people in the local community.
Founder of Kick Start FC Michael Cunningham said “It’s been a fantastic day and it’s amazing to see just how far we have come as a charity, but also how far the men and women who attend our sessions have come in their own individual journeys.
“Kick Start FC is alot more than just football. It’s a support network and people feel comfortable to talk about their mental health with each other. It’s also a morale boost as we offer encouragement and help people build confidence; not just at our football sessions but other projects we also host.”
Aside from football Kick Start FC also host a regular Walking Group, accredited MHFA courses and are on the verge of opening up a talking support group called Team Talk. For more information please visit www.kickstartfc.org