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AFC Fylde Community Foundation celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week

In light of Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to bring attention to the fantastic work AFC Fylde Community Foundation is doing in helping improve the wellbeing of people in the local area.


Mental health doesn't discriminate - anyone of any age, ethnicity or gender can suffer from it, which is why we offer a broad range of projects in the attempt to support everyone.


We want to take a deeper look into two of our projects in particular, ‘Extra Time and ‘Football Rehabilitation’.


‘Extra Time’ is a weekly ‘walk and talk’ session on a Tuesday morning which looks to help people socialise with others and meet like-minded people while strengthening their physical and mental health.


We spoke to Sally Lloyd, a registered mental health nurse, who in recent years has suffered from the damaging effects of anxiety herself - this all started when Sally lost her granddaughter a few years ago.


She said: “It triggered major anxiety for me…I didn’t want to go out the house. I was having panic attacks thinking something was going to happen to the rest of my family.”


Losing a relative of such a young age can take a monumental effect on anyone but for Sally, the Extra Time sessions have become a place where she can rediscover herself again.


She said: “I never thought I’d go back to work, especially in my job, but I do one shift a week now, I think it really was the group which got me back to work, they gave me the confidence to believe that I could do it.”


Not only has it got Sally back working but also helped her find a new group of friends.


She said: “We’ve all got like a little group on WhatsApp now which is really nice so there’s always something going on. We meet in cafes in Lytham, we’ve been to each other’s houses. Birthdays are always nice, we go out for a meal so it’s quite a big social group now to be honest."


Sally’s just one example of many that attending a session like this can be really beneficial and is something she has suggested to others.


She said: “I’d definitely recommend it because we do a nice walk and afterwards everyone is chatting, playing games, the Foundation have just really, really helped us.”


Daisy Sheridan, the loneliness prevention project coordinator said: “Extra time provides people like Sally with the opportunity to meet up weekly, which is really beneficial for mental health, it helps those from bereavement groups have their additional needs met and helps everyone get out and about.”


Like Sally, David Swinton, a patient at Wesham hospital rehabilitation unit, also uses the Foundation to improve his mental health.


Fylde Council, The National League Trust, Lancashire County Council and NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria contribute to Extra Time. Whilst Active Lancs, Wesham Rehabilitation Unit and Challenge Through Sport all help setup our Football Rehabilitation programme.


David, 28, has started attending the Football Rehabilitation sessions, which serve as a chance for people over 18, who are in need of support, to play football. This is a judgement free zone intended to focus on bettering their mental wellbeing’s.


David has only been attending the session for three weeks but he has already said he is starting to see improvement within himself.


He said: “It makes me happy, I get the endorphins from running around and playing football."


“We do it once a week and it’s one of the bright days of the week, you get to go out running, playing football, it’s a nice happy time.


“Yeah, I definitely would [recommend Football Rehabilitation] to other people, it’s a nice easy way of being active and exercising – the weather is getting nicer now as well which is good.”

 

If you think yourself, or anyone you know could benefit from any of our programmes, please contact michael.whittle@afcfylde.co.uk or ring 01772 598852.

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