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Burnley FC in the Community shortlisted for football awards for mental health work with youngsters

Some of the Mental Wellbeing Workers involved in Burnley FC in the Community’s Schools’ Mental Wellbeing Project

Burnley FC’s charitable arm has been shortlisted for two categories in next month’s 2021 Northwest Football Awards. The charity’s outreach work with local schools, delivering one -to-one sessions with students via a team of professional mental health workers, has been recognised with a shortlisting in the Community Initiative of the Season category. The organisation is also up for the Premier League Community Club of the Season award.

Burnley FC in the Community, which which last year reinvested £3.5m in the local area through its wide range of charitable projects, uses the appeal of the Premier League and Burnley FC to support mental wellbeing amongst young people and is currently working with 11 secondary schools across Burnley and Pendle.

The charity employs its own team of 12 mental wellbeing workers who are employed in schools and aim to provide an early intervention to support students struggling with mental health issues.

Chief executive Sara Ward said: “We know that there is a critical lack of provision within children and adolescent mental health services and so, particularly since the onset of the pandemic, there are just not sufficient resources to help young people who need support with their mental health.”

The charity’s Schools’ Mental Wellbeing Project has been running since 2018, providing schools with qualified mental health workers, and has delivered one-to-one sessions and group sessions for more than 1,000 students struggling with mental health.

“The students themselves have reported significant improvements in issues such as low mood, anxiety and low self-esteem,” said Ms Ward. “And schools also give us hugely positive feedback about the valuable work our mental wellbeing workers are doing in breaking down stigmas around mental health and helping teachers to provide the right support for their own students’ wellbeing.”

Burnley FC in the Community is supported by the Premier League, the Professional Footballers’ Association, Burnley Borough Council, Pendle Borough Council and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group in its Schools’ Mental Wellbeing Project.

The Northwest Football Awards take place on 22nd November 2021.