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Ground-breaking Mental Health Matchday Hub offering support at Sunderland AFC

17 December 2019

Ground-breaking Mental Health Matchday Hub offering support at Sunderland AFC

The Beacon of Light on Stadium Park will host the walk-in Mental Health Matchday Hub

Sunderland AFC's official charity, the Foundation of Light, and the supporter-led Branch Liaison Council have joined forces to offer mental health support on matchdays.

Based at the Beacon of Light on Stadium Park, the Mental Health Matchday Hub will provide a walk-in facility for supporters seeking help. It will be open from 11.45am to 2.45pm before every Saturday Sunderland home match, welcoming Black Cats fans along with visiting supporters.

The Hub will be staffed by two trained counsellors from local charity Washington Mind, who helped develop the service, as well as volunteers from the Branch Liaison Council.

Cath Reid, Branch Liaison Council secretary, told the Foundation of Light website: “Sadly, we have lost members to suicide and as a group we wanted to do something to help support our fellow fans suffering from mental health issues.

“We also wanted to help equip our branch organisers to help identify members who may be struggling. The Hub is there to provide the resources where fans can come along and speak to a qualified counsellor in complete confidence,” added Cath.

“While at the same time helping to equip our volunteers with the confidence to ask people how they’re feeling, reminding them not to be afraid of asking for help.”

Liz Barton-Jones, Foundation of Light’s Head of Sport and Wellbeing, added “The Match Day Mental Health Hub is an absolutely fantastic initiative and we are delighted to be working alongside the BLC and Washington Mind to deliver this ground-breaking service to fans."

To find out more, click on the link here.

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