Alan Browne and Sepp van den Berg were at Deepdale at the start of the month to meet the participants of Preston North End Community and Education Trust’s [PNECET] Walk And Talk For Lilywhites programme – coinciding with the EFL Week of Action.
Walk And Talk For Lilywhites is a weekly walking group that invites people to reap the mental benefits of face-to-face conversation with like-minded people, and the physical benefits of light activity, with a walk around Moor Park every Thursday.
The session during the EFL Week of Action, from April 4 to April 8, saw a mental health workshop delivered after the walk, which included a talk from Bob Flood, founder of the Walk And Talk 4 Men programme in Preston.
Alongside coffee and cake as participants were invited back to the stadium to continue their conversation, programme members were in for a surprise as Browne and Van den Berg joined the social element of the session to meet and talk to participants as well as signing autographs and posing for photos.
Grace Birtwell, PNECET Health and Wellbeing Officer, said: “It was fantastic for them because a lot of participants on that programme are massive PNE fans ,so it was huge for them to have that opportunity to meet those players, have a few pictures taken, get some autographs and just have a chat with them and ask them any questions around the team.
“It’s a brilliant programme to be a part of and I’ve really, really enjoyed it. It’s massive for the participants to not only get that physical activity in, getting the steps in and whatnot, but that mental health benefit is amazing for them.
“It’s a fantastic benefit for them to meet new people, speak to people and talk about things that they perhaps wouldn’t talk about to anyone else, with like-minded people and PNE fans as well.”
The Walk And Talk For Lilywhites programme runs every Thursday at Deepdale. Participants meet at the Sir Tom Finney Splash at 10.15am before heading for the walk around Moor Park, alongside PNECET staff, at 10.30am.
First time participants must complete an online PAR-Q health questionnaire prior to their first session, which is available by visiting pne.com/walkandtalkwithpnecet.
For more information about the programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.