The session, which was arranged during Children’s Mental Health Week, combined wellbeing worksheets with an ‘Emotional Snakes and Ladders’ workshop for students at East Manchester Academy*.
‘Cityzens Giving for Recovery’ embeds a new mental health curriculum into all CITC sessions for people aged 14 to 25, blending specially adapted football sessions with one-to-one mentoring and group workshops on mental health awareness.
Staff have also been trained to help identify, support, and refer potential mental health issues for any participant.
The project has been funded by City Football Group’s ‘Cityzens Giving for Recovery’ initiative, which aims to make a positive difference in response to the COVID-19 pandemic via targeted projects near each of City Football Group’s ten clubs.
Since June, City Football Group has matched donations pound for pound from kind-hearted City fans and partners, so far raising more than £725,000 for recovery projects around the world.
Some students who took part in the mental wellbeing workshop said: "It was good learning about mental health and how we can be supportive of each other.”
“The new coach Jason was fun and made a difficult topic engaging.
“The City in the Community team were very understanding of mental health and the effects it can have on young people.”
Outreach Manager at City in the Community, Martin Ingham-Griffith, said: “It’s been great to see the Cityzens Giving for Recovery project in action, during what is an extremely important week for children’s mental health.
“In Manchester, the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health has been highlighted as a major concern amongst carers and parents, but we hope that this new initiative will give our participants a safe space to reflect, engage and communicate.
“We hope that the students, who were part of a Premier League Inspires class, enjoyed their first face-to-face session and look forward to supporting many more young people across all our projects in the coming months.”
City Football Group is continuing to match donations by fans until 30 June 2021** and hope to raise a total of £1million, helping to support ten recovery-linked projects near each City Football Group club (Manchester, Melbourne, Lommel, Chengdu, Mumbai, Yokohama, Girona, New York and Uruguay).
To support Cityzens Giving for Recovery, visit: cityzensgiving.org.
Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.
For more information, visit www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk.
*Arranged in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.
**To a limit of £500,000 across all projects - see FAQs for more info www.globalgiving.org/city-group-faq/.