The EFL and its clubs, Trusts and communities took part in a ‘Mile For Mind’ last week to mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week; and Reading Football Club's Community Trust joined the campaign.
As part of the EFL’s ‘On Your Side’ partnership with Mind, people of all ages and abilities were encouraged to do a ‘Mile For Mind’ to help raise awareness of mental health and donate much-needed funds to support Mind
Individuals taking part could do their ‘Mile For Mind’ however they wished, be it walking, skipping, jumping or hopping in parks and open public spaces to home gardens and housing estates.
But the Trust organised for some of its students from its traineeship programmes - both mainstream and SEND - to take part in the sponsored walk last week.
All the students who took part completed five laps of our 3G pitch to cover a mile, some walking or running and some with a ball at their feet.
The students have all been working with mental health charity 'Sport in Mind' over the past 12 months to help raise awareness of the importance of mental health within the game.
All the students made a donation alongside the Community Trust to the 'Mile for Mind' campaign and the young men and women will also continue to work with the Trust to raise mental health awareness through its funded programmes.
The EFL and Mind ‘On Your Side’ charity partnership launched ahead of the 2018-19 season with the aim of raising awareness of mental health, improving the approach to mental health in football and to raise funds to deliver life-changing support. Since then, the partnership has successfully delivered award-winning campaigns in the fight for better mental health within football.
EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch, said: “There’s no hiding from the struggles many of us have faced during the pandemic and the effects this has had on mental health. This makes the work we are delivering through our partnership with Mind more important than ever, harnessing the power of football to help improve the nation’s mental health and wellbeing.
“As restrictions continue to ease across the country, we look forward to seeing fans and communities come together to enjoy the country’s national game inside our stadiums and hope that this will impact positively on the mental wellbeing of supporters.”
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week is a time when the spotlight is very much on mental health, so we’re delighted to join with the EFL to launch ‘Mile For Mind’. We hope that fans get behind us this week, in whatever way they choose to do their Mile For Mind, to show that they support our fight for better mental health. By doing your Mile For Mind you are not only helping us to raise greater awareness about mental health but also vital funds for our services, at a time when more people than ever have felt the impact of the pandemic on their mental health.
“Through our partnership with the EFL we have already been able to extend the life-changing services we provide to more people across the country. With the support of EFL fans and clubs we want to continue to be game-changers in the way football tackles mental health. For anyone who’s mental health has been affected by the pandemic our message remains the same: whoever you support, Mind is here to support you.”