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FOUNDATION OF LIGHT
SOCIAL MEDIA

โšฝ Evening and weekend football is BACK! ๐Ÿ“… Kicking off November 2nd, places must be booked for the full six-weeks.โ€ฆ https://t.co/TYCoEQJBPf

๐ŸŽ‰ Many happy returns to #SAFC's 1973 FA Cup winner Richie Pitt. A long-term supporter of Foundation activities, enโ€ฆ https://t.co/EQn0lJkQ1L

โณ Former #SAFC skipper @442Dean shares some flicks and tricks during a visit to Crowtree Leisure Centre withโ€ฆ https://t.co/N9R72StZBb

๐ŸŽ–๏ธ Something for all ages this October half-term, for families of Sunderland veterans. The FREE activities will bโ€ฆ https://t.co/jmwnlmeoT6

๐Ÿ˜ The face you make when you're booked onto a football course during half-term... ๐Ÿ‘‹ See you there ๐Ÿ‘‰โ€ฆ https://t.co/I6szs3ijW4

๐Ÿฅณ An exciting afternoon for our @SScolars, who, for the first time this year played indoors. The first and secondโ€ฆ https://t.co/lTeE2XabDD

๐Ÿš€๐Ÿš€๐Ÿš€ ๐ŸŽ‚ A very happy birthday to former #SAFC man Kieran Richardson Any excuse... Kieran Richardson! https://t.co/vDBFKn5Enb

๐Ÿ’ญ #WednesdayWisdom *๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต. ๐˜’๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ https://t.co/MIROxDrA0m

And the winner of a signed SAFC home shirt is B-6656448 ๐™ƒ๐˜ผ'๐™’๐˜ผ๐™” ๐˜ผ๐™‰๐˜ฟ ๐™‹๐™‡๐˜ผ๐™” is our new match day lottery. Play onlineโ€ฆ https://t.co/P7NyELO4mW

๐Ÿฆ… Just over an hour to go to take advantage of our ๐™ƒ๐˜ผ'๐™’๐˜ผ๐™” ๐˜ผ๐™‰๐˜ฟ ๐™‹๐™‡๐˜ผ๐™” lottery early bird offer! Buy your tickets beโ€ฆ https://t.co/P1S7mmgBOL

๐Ÿ Our futsal provision has expanded with opportunities for boys and girls from the age of 9. Players will completโ€ฆ https://t.co/tJiUshhoV8

๐Ÿคž๐™ƒ๐˜ผ'๐™’๐˜ผ๐™” ๐˜ผ๐™‰๐˜ฟ ๐™‹๐™‡๐˜ผ๐™”... it's matchday! We might be missing the SoL, but we don't have to miss out on the matchday lottโ€ฆ https://t.co/yDiSeXamTe

๐Ÿ’ธ Our ๐™ƒ๐˜ผ'๐™’๐˜ผ๐™” ๐˜ผ๐™‰๐˜ฟ ๐™‹๐™‡๐˜ผ๐™” matchday lottery kicks off this weekend v Portsmouth! Get in early and buy your tickets tonโ€ฆ https://t.co/hYZW9YY3nq

๐Ÿ“šA busy afternoon in store for our partners at SHAID Veterans Project after we delivered some of our new activity pโ€ฆ https://t.co/dFUbSJBCRb

RT @RedAndWhite2017: Worth noting that proceeds from Ha'way and Play (the revamp of the half-time "Grand in your Hand" lottery) go to theโ€ฆ

RT @SunderlandRTC: We, alongside @SAFCFoL are fully committed to providing equal opportunities as well as supporting females of all ages anโ€ฆ

๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ› Remember, when shopping online with Amazon, you can raise money for the Foundation at no extra cost to you... ๐Ÿ”ธโ€ฆ https://t.co/aynVQj4lgz

How it started How itโ€™s going https://t.co/xVYSrpUpqs

๐Ÿ’ฅ An action-packed half-term at the @BeaconofLight... โšฝ Football ๐Ÿ’ƒ Disability multi-sports ๐Ÿ Futsal Limited placโ€ฆ https://t.co/9JgKTGpQFN

๐Ÿฆ… Take advantage of our ๐™ƒ๐˜ผ'๐™’๐˜ผ๐™” ๐˜ผ๐™‰๐˜ฟ ๐™‹๐™‡๐˜ผ๐™” lottery early bird offer! Buy before midnight Tuesday for the chance toโ€ฆ https://t.co/mnpjwpoiod

Andrew’s game changing moment

After Andrew faced a set of life-changing events, his mental health suffered. With the help of friends, family and a very special group of fans, he opened up about how he was feeling and found the support he needed.

โ€œWhile my wife was in labour, I had a knock on the door from another member of the hospital staff who said โ€˜your grandfatherโ€™s down in A&E. Heโ€™s in a really bad way, you might want to go and say your goodbyes to him.โ€™

Andrew was faced with a difficult, and heart-breaking, situation. A series of events which acted as a catalyst which had a long-term impact on his mental health, โ€œI was just drowning in thoughts; my brain was in overdrive at times. I started getting really disconnected with things.

โ€œIt got to the stage where I needed to get some help. I needed to speak to someone.โ€

Andrew sought help at the Matchday Mental Health Hub at the Beacon of Light. Run by SAFC supporter group, the Branch Liaison Council and Washington Mind, and supported by the Foundation of Light, the Hub provides fans of all ages free access to trained counsellors every match day, and is the first of its kind in the UK.

For Andrew, it was the life-line he needed; an informal and non-clinical environment which allowed him to open up and share how he was feeling. โ€œPeople will talk openly about hurting their ankle playing football but they donโ€™t necessarily tell you whatโ€™s hurting in their head.

โ€œIf one of your friends has opened up to you, you know you could say to them โ€˜weโ€™re going to the match anyway, this facility is on the doorstep. Go and have a chat with the people there.โ€™โ€

After receiving information about additional help from the Hubโ€™s counsellors, Andrew went on to access to the support he needed and he is grateful to the Sunderland AFC community for helping him get through his difficult time; โ€œWith my family, you either support Sunderland or you donโ€™t support anybody. But itโ€™s not just about watching football; you become part of the bigger community.

โ€œIt shows that even though the power of football is there, youโ€™ve got something that can really benefit the wider society.โ€

Andrew was speaking ahead of World Mental Health Day 2020, as part of the #BeAGameChanger campaign โ€“ a joint initiative between Newcastle United Foundation and Foundation of Light which encourages people across the region to talk openly about mental health.

The two clubs have put their long-standing rivalry aside to launch a powerful video which showcases the work being done by both clubโ€™s charities, and highlights that mental health supersedes team loyalty.

Watch the videoย below or subscribe to the Foundation of Light’s official YouTube Channel

To find out more and to get some tips on how to improve your physical and mental well-being visit www.foundationoflight.co.uk/beagamechanger/

11 October 2020

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โšฝ Evening and weekend football is BACK! ๐Ÿ“… Kicking off November 2nd, places must be booked for the full six-weeks.โ€ฆ https://t.co/TYCoEQJBPf


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