For the past three seasons the Toolstation Western Football League has been championing the importance of Mental Health by promoting the work of local Mind charities across the South West of England.
Partnering with Mind in Somerset, Bath Mind and Devon Mind, the League have developed special changing room posters that promote mental health support services, advertising this important information directly to Western League players. Clubs supporting this initiative had also organised bucket collections, raising hundreds of pounds to support the important work of their local Mind partners.
The mental health partnership kicked off at Radstock Town, when the Western League launched their partnership with Bath Mind in February 2022 and most recently, Western League officials, joined by the Head of Marketing at Toolstation, attended the First Division game between Portishead Town and Wells City, where over £100 was raised from spectators on the night.
Attending that game, was John Pool, the Chairman of the Toolstation Western League, who reflected on what this campaign means to the League: “World Mental Health Day is the perfect time to reflect on the work we’ve done as a League to highlight how important mental health and mental wellbeing are to everyone in our football family. From our players to the volunteers and fans, this is not a conversation that we should be embarrassed about having and I’m so proud that we continue to push this subject.”
Last season Devon Mind provided online training to Western League Club Officials in their area, highlighting the signs that someone needing support with a mental health issue and what can be done about it. The League are looking to repeat this session and extend this provision into Somerset, with the help of Mind in Somerset. The Toolstation Western League have also announced a partnership with Nigel Manges, the Pastoral Support Lead in the South West for Sports Chaplaincy UK, providing clubs with pastoral and spiritual care.