Preston North End Community and Education Trust are set to launch ‘Team Talk’, a new weekly session which will engage participants in physical activity and mental health discussion.
Team Talk sessions, for men and women over the age of 18, will take place from 7.30pm until 8.30pm every Monday night at the PNE Community Training Centre, combining physical activity and social time.
The aim of the once-a-week session is to give members the chance to engage in physical activity and connect with new people in a welcoming and friendly environment.
Staff from the charity Samaritans will also be on hand at sessions to provide additional support and advice for participants wishing to discuss their mental and emotional health.
Samaritans is a registered charity that offers listening and support to people and communities in times of need. It operates a 24-hour call centre, contactable on 116 123, which is open to anyone struggling to cope or in need of someone to listen to them, without judgement or pressure.
The session adds to the Trust’s strand of mental health provision, having begun with the delivery of a bespoke mental health programme for 13-year-old Joe Martin, who lost his father to suicide late last year.
Joe has been given unique experiences in football as part of his programme, which is designed to boost his confidence, communication, resilience and leadership qualities, with Team Talk also aiming to use the power of football to encourage participants to open up to others.
The Trust are also working in partnership with the medium secure mental health care hospital Guild Lodge, situated just outside Preston with male and female patients from Lancashire and South Cumbria. The Trust runs weekly football and multi-skills sessions for patients that form part of patients’ occupational therapy timetable.
Harriet Creighton-Levis, Assistant Head of PNECET, has worked closely with Joe as part of his bespoke mental health programme and speaking of the new Team Talk initiative, she said: “By launching our Team Talk session, we are committing to supporting people with their mental health and wellbeing, and encouraging the people of Preston to open up and continue to ‘Team Talk’.
“We believe by utilising the power of football, we can encourage people to come together and support one another with their mental health and wellbeing by giving them the platform to open up and talk.
“We’re proud to be working with organisations and individuals through the delivery of Team Talk, creating a sustainable campaign for change that is tailored to the needs and priorities of the local community.
“Samaritans volunteers in particular will form an invaluable part of these sessions, meaning participants can utilise their expertise
“If you are struggling with your mental health, please do come along to our weekly session.”
Sally Eastham, Branch Director of Preston Samaritans said: “Preston Samaritans has been here to listen around the clock for 50 years.
"This year, we are delighted to be working with Preston North End to help support the wider community and reach more people in their time of need.”
PlayFootball Preston, where the PNE Community Training Centre is located (Tag Lane, Ingol, PR2 3TX) have kindly gifted the use of their facility for the session to take place every week, in aid of mental health provision.
Team Talk sessions will be free of charge with refreshments provided, and anyone wishing to join the Team Talk is welcome to turn up to the session.
A generous one-off donation from the Preston North End first team squad that has allowed PNECET to set-up the Team Talk programme and we are now looking for a sponsor to sustain the programme going forwards.
For more information about the session or to become a sponsor of the Team Talk programme, please contact the community department on 01772 693309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.