Nine EFL Clubs will partner with their respective local Minds this season to help launch a new phase of the mental health charity’s ‘Get Set to Go’ programme.
Funded by Sport England and the National Lottery, ‘Get Set to Go’ is a nationwide physical activity programme which aims to support people with mental health problems to get more active as a way of improving their mental wellbeing and is being expanded thanks to fundraising from Year One of the EFL and Mind’s ‘On Your Side’ partnership.
Players from three EFL Clubs involved in the new phase took part in a launch event held today at Charlton Athletic.
Lewis Page (Charlton Athletic), Ben Thompson, Shane Ferguson (Millwall FC) and Will Nightingale (AFC Wimbledon) attended the event to speak to members of the media and provide advice and support to the Club’s respective programme participants who took part in a five-a-side tournament.
Zoe Tootle, EFL Executive Office Director, said: “The EFL is proud to be associated with Mind as our charity partner as we continue to collectively work to raise the visibility of mental health in football.
“As we move in to Year Two of the partnership, it’s fantastic that the already successful Get Set to Go programme is being expanded due to the work of our Clubs and funds raised by them and supporters throughout the 2018/19 season. Using the power of football and the Club badges, the nine new hubs will make a real impact in tackling mental health issues in communities across the UK.
“We look forward to working with Mind throughout the 2019/20 to continue to raise awareness, deliver life-changing support and improve the approach to mental health in the EFL, in football and in wider society.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “We know the power that sport, and in particular football, has to create change. Physical and mental health go hand in hand and the benefits of being more active for your mental wellbeing are well established. But we also know that having a mental health problem can be a real barrier to getting active. That’s why we’re delighted to be working in partnership with the EFL to expand our highly successful Get Set to Go programme to nine new parts of the country.
“Through funding from Sport England and the National Lottery we have already seen thousands of people with mental health problems benefit from Get Set to Go. With the help of the nine EFL clubs and their respective local Minds in this new phase of the programme we hope to reach many thousands more. Working together with the EFL, and with continued support from Sport England, we hope to be real game-changers in the way football tackles mental health.”
Sarah Ruane, Sport England’s Strategic Lead for Health said: “We’re excited to see the Get Set to Go programme, which we support with National Lottery funding, expand into EFL clubs to help more people with mental health problems to get more active.
“Our research shows that those who take part in less physical activity, have lower levels of mental wellbeing, and we know that activity has many mental health benefits such as reduced anxiety and improved mood.
“Helping people enjoy the mental health benefits of being active continues to be a key pillar of our strategy Towards An Active Nation.”
Carlisle United, Derby County, Newport County, Sheffield Wednesday, Stevenage and Sunderland, who are all involved in the new phase of ‘Get Set to Go’ will hold respective launch events throughout the season.
The activity comes as the EFL and Mind move into Year Two of their pioneering partnership that seeks to use the power of football to improve the nation’s mental health. Throughout this season, the players of all 72 EFL clubs from the Sky Bet Championship through to League Two will also continue to wear the Mind logo on the back of their matchday shirts.
The Get Set to Go programme launched in 2015. Since then, more than 3,500 people with mental health problems have benefited and tried out new activities in a relaxed and friendly environment. In this new phase of the programme, Mind aims to support over 120,000 people with mental health problems across the country to be more active through its work in communities and partners in the sport sector.
For more information on Get Set to Go please visit - mind.org.uk/about-us/our-policy-work/sport-physical-activity-and-mental-health/get-set-to-go/.