Norfolk County Football Association has today announced Norfolk and Waveney Mind as its official charity partner for the next three seasons.
Preparations are underway for the Governing Body’s annual Volunteer Awards, which takes place later this week. The event which was postponed last year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, will see two seasons of awards presented and the Charity partnership formally launched in front of all in attendance, including special guest and Norwich City Hall of Famer, Darren Eadie.
In recent years Norfolk FA has supported various local charities including ‘The Skin Cancer Research Fund’, ‘It’s on the Ball’ and Norwich City FC’s ‘Community Sports Foundation’.
Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales that offers information and advice to support people with their mental health and lobbies government and local authorities on their behalf. It also works to raise public awareness and understanding of issues relating to mental health.
There are 125 local Minds within the network. Each local Mind is unique. They understand the needs of their community and they tailor their services to match. Services include talking therapies, peer support, advocacy, crisis care, employment and housing support. As a local Mind, Norfolk and Waveney Mind operate as an independent, affiliated charity, raising its own funds with its own Board of Trustees.
Norfolk and Waveney Mind offer a wide range of services including 1:1 talking therapies, gardening projects, access to employment services, mental health training and education for businesses, schools and individuals, residential care and support programmes. They also work within local communities to raise awareness and challenge stigma and discrimination.
The partnership with Norfolk FA will enable Norfolk and Waveney Mind to utilise the wide reach that grassroots football has, to communicate important messaging to those involved in the local game, as well as provide valuable training to clubs and leagues to improve education and awareness across the football landscape.
Being local associations to National bodies, it’s hoped that the two organisations’ strategies will collaborate effectively to have a positive impact on the local population.
Ashley Bunn, Director of Strategy and Business Development for Norfolk and Waveney Mind, said: “We are delighted to be embarking on 3-year partnership with Norfolk County Football Association, especially at a time when the need for our services is greater than ever before.
“Norfolk and Waveney Mind are busier than ever, 60% of adults and young people who did not experience poor mental health before the pandemic are now experiencing mental health issues.
“We work to ensure that no one in Norfolk and Waveney has to face a mental health problem alone and partnerships like this enable us to reach far more people, helping to build healthier, more resilient communities.”
Chairman of Norfolk FA, Michael Banham said: “We are proud to have a strong repertoire of local charities that we have supported in the past and I’m pleased that we will be adding to this by supporting the fantastic work that Norfolk and Waveney Mind undertake in raising awareness of and reducing the stigma associated to mental health.
“The plans for the next three seasons with regards to education and raising awareness among our footballing communities is exciting, and I’m really looking forward to being involved in the delivery of what looks to be a very impactful partnership strategy.”
Chief Executive of Norfolk FA, Matt Carpenter said: “Having just come through one of the most turbulent periods that our society will ever know, understanding the challenges others face with their psychological wellbeing is paramount. We’ve highlighted this in our new three season strategy with a commitment to supporting mental health, and by working closely with Norfolk and Waveney Mind we hope that Norfolk Football will become a community that’s educated and empowered to support one another on and off the pitch.”
For more information surrounding Norfolk County Football Association, please visit NorfolkFA.com and for more information about Norfolk and Waveney Mind please visit norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk.