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10 October 2018

Albion in the Community supports World Mental Health Day

Albion in the Community runs a number of free regular football sessions which promote mental wellbeing and support people experiencing mental health problems.
The club’s official charity runs three weekly mental wellbeing football sessions, taking place in Brighton’s Preston Park, at the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove, and at Worthing Leisure Centre.
These sessions are attended by upwards of 50 people each week and provide players with the chance to take part in regular physical activity in a supportive environment, often alongside others who are facing similar challenges.
AITC’s coaches structure the sessions so they are suitable for participants with a wide range of mental health problems, and participants also often end up forming an important support network with each other. Coaches at AITC are also able to sign-post participants in the direction of other organisations which are able to provide often vital support.
Elsewhere, AITC’s popular Albion Goals programme – a football employability project which combines free weekly football sessions and lifestyle and job skills workshops – continues to work with a large number of participants with mental health conditions.
Many of the people who take part in Albion Goals have long histories of mental health illnesses and benefit hugely from the opportunity to take part in free regular physical activity – not to mention the support provided by the coaches and fellow participants. They also get to take part in regular workshops aimed at overcoming mental health barriers and boosting self-esteem. To celebrate World Mental Health Day, more than 30 Albion Goals participants will be taking part in a free football tournament this week.
Away from the football pitch, AITC’s further education team has been delivering NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems qualifications to people across Sussex – including to staff at AITC, Brighton & Hove Albion and a range of local businesses.
Paul Brackley, AITC’s disability manager, said,“Taking part in regular physical activity can be an incredibly important tool in tackling mental health problems and by providing a suitably-supportive environment in which to play football, we are able to help people who are facing a range of different mental health illnesses.
“Also important, however, is the support our participants provide each other with before, during, and after our sessions. The camaraderie and friendships which develop by being part of a team helps reduce social isolation. Our players know that, whatever problems they are facing, they are not facing them alone.” 
For more information on the work being done by AITC – including details of how to attend its mental wellbeing football sessions or Albion Goals programme – email:

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