Wellbeing football festival provides relief for people with mental health problems

Members of the local community have come together during Mental Health Awareness Week to leave all their worries behind and take part in a Wellbeing and Recovery Football Festival.

The festival takes place monthly, and sees people with mental health problems, addictions and other challenges united at Portway Lifestyle Centre to play football and help their wellbeing.

Teams and individuals travel from across Sandwell and Dudley to get out the house, be active, play football and socialise with others that are experiencing similar problems to themselves.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to get out and play some football and have fun,” said Ajay Gill, Disability Post 16 Development Officer at The Albion Foundation.

“It’s specifically for people who come under the Mental Health Act and they love it, they’re constantly on at the staff from the Foundation to know when the next tournament or festival is,” said Ajay.

“It’s fantastic for these guys to get out and be active because they don’t really get opportunities like these in their everyday life,” said NHS Support Worker, Pardeep Bhogal.

“These groups are free, they’re easily accessible and they’re all in the area that they live, it’s just fantastic for their mental health.

“If the Foundation wasn’t doing this, they would be doing something else today so thank you to The Albion Foundation for this opportunity,” said Pardeep.

“I’ve had addiction problems and homelessness, anxiety and mental health problems, and this is a very important part of my life,” said Ronnie Wheeler, a participant at the festival.

“It’s very important and gets us meeting new people, especially with similar addictions or mental health problems, so it helps wellbeing,” said Ronnie.

To find out more about the Wellbeing and Recovery Football Festivals, please email