Mansfield Town Football in the Community are delighted to announce that their proactive approach to tackling Mental Health is continuing to grow, having seen increased numbers attending their ‘Active Minds’ sessions.
Taking place every Friday at the One Call Stadium, the ‘Active Minds’ sessions tackle Mental Health issues such as loneliness, low self-esteem & self-confidence, PTSD and anxiety – along with improving the lives of those living with Dementia.
Since the groups launch in March, Football in the Community have seen a vast increase in the number of people attending the group, with participants enjoying a different activity each week, designed to encourage team work and improve confidence through the power of sport and play.
Led by Football in the Community coaches, activities have included a number of outdoor sports games, music therapy, board game sessions, interactive quizzes and indoor fitness classes – activities which have proved a real hit with participants, old and new.
“My husband is a different person when he comes here, and I know that many of the other wives have seen the same transformation” – Carol Wright, wife on long-term participant Peter, who lives with Dementia.
“It’s such a simple set-up and to get as much out of it as they do is unbelievable. It’s the friendship that they get out of it, they come here and can talk for hours, whilst they can be at home and not speak for hours, like you’ve fallen out, you haven’t that’s just Dementia.”
“He has a different expression on a Friday morning; he knows he’s coming here and he really lights up – it’s worked wonders for his wellbeing, knowing every week he’s coming here gives him a focus.
“The main things I get out of these sessions is seeing that he is happy, it’s different to the rest of the week. When you first get these sort of diagnoses you think that you’re excluded from the rest of the world and that nobody cares, there’s a stigma to it – but here [at Active Minds] that simply doesn’t exist.”
Mark Hemingray, Head of Community, said: “Active Minds has been a really successful project for us so far, the fact that we can split in into two strands [Chat – Focussing more on Dementia & those unable to participate in physical activities, and Sport – focussing on outdoor sport for younger males] allows us to make an impact across the community.
“Playing games and doing something competitive releases endorphins into the brain and body and it’s been scientifically proven that that has a real positive effect on those living with Dementia, and those living with any form of Mental illness – which is why we design our sessions the way we do.”
Participant Kurt Eggington said “It’s great to have that camaraderie between the group, although we may not be in the same situation across the board we all have our own issues which we are trying to deal with.
“The important thing about basing the group around football and sport is that it’s a common denominator – everybody that comes here for example has an affiliation to the Football Club – it’s always a central point, a focal point.
“Without taking that first step [in joining the activity] you never know if it’s going to be of assistance to you, you may just find if it makes life that little bit easier for you and it does give you something to look forward to, as it does me”
Active Minds sessions take place every Friday at the One Call Stadium and are FREE to attend. ‘Active Minds: Chat’ is suitable for anyone living with dementia or may be living with mental health problems, unable to participate in physical activity – ‘Active Minds: Sport’ is for males aged 18+ battling any form of mental health issue and contains more physical sporting activities – to find out more about the sessions or what may be of benefit to you or a friend, you can contact Football in the Community in confidence on 01623 656 920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title ‘Active Minds’.