The Huddersfield Town Foundation has resumed delivery of its weekly Mental Health Football sessions over the past month!

Designed to give participants both physical and mental exercise, the sessions use the power of the sport to bring people together.

The Foundation recognises the importance of physical activity for mental wellbeing. Given that mental health issues increase the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory disease, the programme aims to support both good mental and physical health for all.

Sessions also carry a significant social element with participants encouraged to interact with each other, developing confidence and new friendships in the process.

Our team have been delivering the programme for several years, but the continuing impact of the events of this year means that these sessions take on added significance.

The latest research from Mental Health charity MIND revealed that more than 60% of adults and 68% of young people felt their mental health deteriorated during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Participants of the programme come from a range of backgrounds, with some self-referring themselves, some being service users of Insight NHS and others enrolled on the Foundation`s degree programme.

The sessions teach new footballing skills, but ultimately the aim is to ensure that every member of the group has fun and feels part of the group.


On the benefits of the programme Richard Martinson, Town Foundation Health Manager, commented:

“The benefits we have seen for participants attending the programme have been significant. The sessions enable people to take their mind off things and meet others that understand their position.

“As a result, we see participants develop friendships, confidence and support networks that help them in a number of ways, from improving their ability to cope with issues in their everyday lives, to improving other aspects of their health such as losing weight, exercising more regularly and reducing their alcohol and drug use.

“The benefits therefore go beyond mental health with the programme helping individuals improve their overall wellbeing and quality of life.”

The Mental Health Football session takes place every Thursday from 12.30pm until 2pm on the 3G pitch at Leeds Road Sports Complex, HD2 1YY.

If you would like to attend the sessions or require further information, please contact Health Coordinator Evan Hall on or 07741 671 599 in the first instance.

Ahead of World Mental Health Day, which takes place on Saturday 10 October 2020, you can seek further support from MIND by clicking here.