On the 8th July 2021 Dunstable Town FC became only the 46th (semi) professional football club in the UK to be accredited as a Community Benefit Society by the Financial Conduct Authority in association with the Football Supporters’ Association.
We started the new season in our fourth year of partnership with Mind BLMK and our first year of working in support of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
Our First Team strip features logos of both charities on it, and the work of both is promoted by pitch side advertising boards and on our social media platforms.
The Club’s owners and shareholders receive a membership card. On the back of the card is information on how to access help if you are in crisis through Mind BLMK.
I became the Club’s Mental Health Advocate as part of the transition to become a CBS. The Club now attends a local mental health service users peer support group, Minds2gether, and thanks to the generosity of Club sponsor, The Glider, starts a Support group every Monday with United Minds.
Our Walking group every Tuesday, and our Walking Football group every Wednesday have proved successful and only a couple of weeks ago, we were pleased to see local MP, Andrew Selous join us.
We have more ambitious plans and want to use the full force of our working experiences in this field to reach even more people and encourage the leading of happier and healthier lifestyles.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Every year on 10th September we try to raise awareness of how and why people die by suicide and campaign to seek ways in which we can help those who are considering ending their own lives.
In the UK we know men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women, with men aged between 45 – 49 and women aged between 50 – 54 particularly at risk.
In 2019, twenty people each day died by suicide. Many, many more each day making unsuccessful attempts to end their lives.
Many people at this Club have lost someone close to them through suicide.
Checking in with someone you think is struggling with life or with their emotions and mental health and asking them whether they feel safe is one simple act we can all do. Our colleagues at Mind BLMK and CALM can offer more structured support and can signpost people to services where they can receive the most appropriate help.
Written by Yvonne (DTFC Mental Health Advocate)