Two of the country’s most progressive Non-League Football Clubs have joined forces to raise awareness and funds with a series of events in February for the charities Mind in Brighton and Hove and Lambeth and Southwark.
Dulwich Hamlet of the Vanarama National League South and Whitehawk of the Pitching In Isthmian League South East announce a series of joint initiatives during February, culminating with a very special ‘zoom’ evening with current Hamlet striker Danny Mills, who spent five years at Whitehawk during one of the most successful periods in the club’s history.
Launching on ‘Time To Talk’ Day on Thursday, February 4, and using the hashtag #shoutout, ‘SHOUT OUT FOR MENTAL HEALTH’ is a campaign to raise funds via a JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/shoutout, as well as encouraging anyone currently feeling anxious and alone in the current climate, to talk to someone; to call a friend, work colleague or family member, and to reassure them that they are not alone.
The campaign includes a TV show, Whitehawk’s own TV show on local channel Latest TV, a ‘Virtual’ match, played out on Twitter between the two sides, a radio request show on local London station K2K, a fans quiz night, and an ‘Evening with’ zoom event featuring Danny Mills and some very special guests.
Mental Health issues, particularly amongst young men, have risen sharply since the pandemic began. New research commissioned by Mind in partnership with the English Football League compares new polling data from YouGov with the same survey from 2009. The survey reveals that while some progress has been made, young men especially, feel worried or low, more regularly than ten years ago and are consequently twice as likely to feel suicidal.
Danny said, “Being in football for a number of years I have seen the effects football has on players mental health. The anxiety of not knowing whether you’re going to start a game, waiting to know if you’re going to make the bench. The fear of making mistakes during a game. This campaign has been inspired by seeing these struggles and I want to help raise awareness for those who may not realise it’s happening”
He added, “This has been such a hard year for everyone, and people’s mental health has taken a knock in one way or another. People have lost jobs, been furloughed and lost loved ones. This campaign is to let them know help is out there and they are not alone. It’s here to let people know that they should check in with their friends and family to make sure they’re okay and if they’re not then help is here.”
“There is nothing wrong with not being okay. We’re all in this together. We all need to talk. Shout out for mental health is a campaign where Dulwich Hamlet and Whitehawk Football Clubs join forces in a unique and pioneering partnership to raise awareness for mental health.”
Whitehawk FC Chairman Andy Schofield said,
“These are tough times for everyone, with people kept apart from their friends. This is the case at our football clubs, where the usual Saturdays have not been happening for nearly a year now. This initiative highlights the fact that mental health is just as important as physical health, although it can often get overlooked.”
DHFC Chairman Ben Clasper said,
“This is a unique and exciting campaign for so many reasons. Not only are we raising awareness of a really important issue in society, we are doing it in collaboration with our friends at Whitehawk. In a time of national need, the partnership of two non league football clubs coming together sends a really powerful message. Our two clubs share the same ethos and commitment to doing the right thing; this is an exciting opportunity to show the importance and strength in collaboration and working together.”
Whitehawk FC Head of Commercial & Marketing Kevin Miller said,
“In these desperate times, people need to talk to each other, to work together. Whitehawk FC are so proud to be working on this incredible campaign with our friends at Dulwich Hamlet FC, raising much needed funds for two local Mind branches, and encouraging people to talk… We’re not alone, and this pioneering collaboration proves that, even when Non-League football is in a perilous state, clubs can work together.”
Rob Hyneman DHFC Community Lead said,
“Dulwich Hamlet prides itself on our fantastic community outreach work. We are proud of the simple message that all our community work is based on – Dulwich Hamlet is club for all. We all know the challenges facing people in the current climate and this is a way of bringing fans together to start a conversation about a really important issue in society today. We also hope to have some fun along the way too as part of our ground-breaking partnership with Whitehawk FC. The message is simple: Shout Out, if you need help. Shout Out to those around you to ensure they are ok.”
A spokesperson for Mind in Brighton and Hove said,
“Many thanks to Whitehawk FC and Dulwich Hamlet FC for raising funds for Mind in Brighton and Hove through this exciting event. We are very grateful for their support, as the donations collected will help us to maintain and develop the services we offer the local community.”
Alastair Smith-Agbaje, CEO Lambeth and Southwark Mind said,
“We are thrilled and excited to be working in partnership with two great football clubs, in addition to our Mind team in Brighton. Our synergy will create visibility, awareness and support to many within our local communities, who struggle with mental health and wellbeing.”
Mental Health Information and support: When you’re experiencing a mental health problem, supportive and reliable information can change your life Call 0300 123 3393
Whitehawk FC: Kevin Miller, Head of Commercial & Marketing: 07830 736234 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dulwich Hamlet FC: Rob Hyneman, Community Lead, 07846 429355 email@example.com