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FOUNDATION OF LIGHT
SOCIAL MEDIA

👨‍👩‍👦 Keep the kids entertained whilst learning some new skills and gaining qualifications with our free online cou… https://t.co/I9bGLZd1Ax

🙌 We hope you enjoyed our Legends in Lockdown charity talk-in with John O'Shea and Wes Brown... If you missed it,… https://t.co/CRupYzZTQj

🍻 John and Wes are topped up ahead of tonight’s virtual talk-in. Get comfortable, get the drinks in and tune in fr… https://t.co/3mKNLqscEJ

👑 @TheQueensAwards for Enterprise is one of the most prestigious awards for UK businesses. Winners receive a host… https://t.co/BOp53kXXWJ

RT @FoLScholars: We can’t wait for our Women’s squad to represent @FoLScholars @SthTyneCollege in such a great competition!

🏆Tom Flanagan has been awarded this season’s Community Champion Award by the @PFA, in recognition of his ongoing su… https://t.co/ecJq9LMHlF

🎾 🔀 ⚽ All this and more from our rock solid talk-in pairing tonight at 7pm ✅ Subscribe to the Foundation's offic… https://t.co/rWUEg8p9R7

⚽ Life's a pitch... The Foundation of Light has received lots of positive feedback after football coaching resumed… https://t.co/HgVbT41OX9

📚 Over 8,000 primary school pupils have benefitted from our PE activity packs during lockdown... We've had some v… https://t.co/GmHTlVyks2

RT @tomwhitemedia: These two were brilliant! #SAFC

😍 We enjoyed watching him striker pose at our annual fashion show... https://t.co/iThaCq9jmI https://t.co/LJzYpI1bT3

🎥 @tomwhitemedia returns to grill our latest #SAFC Legends in Lockdown. Hot topics include: 🔥 Six in a row 🔥 Favou… https://t.co/qcQ2kW9MIM

⌛ We can’t wait until we can all enjoy football together again. Meanwhile, here’s this seasons @PFA Community Cha… https://t.co/HFmtBq4MJ5

😎 As well as synchronising their wardrobe, John O'Shea and Wes Brown had a lot more to chat about in the Foundation… https://t.co/e45UfJdXDY

15-17? ‘Keep Doing Good’ with @NCS! ✅ Volunteering experience ✅ Make a positive impact in your community ✅ Learn n… https://t.co/U77s9dfl1q

Jul 8
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😯 Our FITBLACKCATS have lost over 5kg each, regular exercise can also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke b… https://t.co/m4SpTjo7PK

🙏 The Foundation of Light's pledge to you. We promise to: ✅ Keep a safe distance ✅ Keep it clean ✅ Keep it fre… https://t.co/jD0qfG29Xn

📝 Our @FolClub teams are recruiting for the 2020-21 season... https://t.co/fzjvU5XApA

📍 Nice to have @andygrantfc back on the grass as our 1:1 coaching sessions continue to prove popular... https://t.co/KS16u0WfIt

#BeAGameChanger – Gary’s story

#BeAGameChanger encourages football supporters to talk about how they are really feeling and recognise when they or their loved ones are in crisis.

Originally launched in February 2019 by  Newcastle United Foundation, the campaign has now been backed by Sunderland AFC’s official charity, Foundation of Light.

For one Sunderland supporter, the campaign would change his life.

In 2016, Gary Mutimer was told he had just ten days to live.  Diagnosed with cancer and a heart condition that developed into an aortic aneurysm, Gary could only focus on his physical health.

The military veteran-turned media entrepreneur was often bedbound in hospital and it was two gruelling years before Gary was finally given the all-clear.

But despite gaining his freedom, Gary, now 42, felt mentally trapped.

“During my recovery, I disregarded my mental health, which was a big mistake,” he said.

“By ignoring my mental health after my two-year fight, I descended into a severe depression which led to suicide attempts and constant suicidal thoughts – not to mention I disappeared for four days. For me, life had no meaning.”

Gary, a lifelong Sunderland supporter, knew he needed help. It was through Newcastle United Foundation’s Be A Game Changer mental health awareness campaign that he joined an entire community of men just like him.

Through a variety of health and wellbeing programmes, Be A Game Changer events and social media, Gary began to open up about his feelings and encouraged others to do the same.

He said: “I think Be A Game Changer is a huge benefit for individuals who can hear that they’re not alone, not just in Newcastle, but across the North East.

“Hopefully, it will encourage people to talk and be much more open about how they are feeling and fingers crossed it will save lives.”

“Football unites people,” he added. “Turn to the person next to you in the ground, wherever that may be, and just ask, ‘are you okay today?’ Just talk.”

Gary Mutimer

Launching on Blue Monday – the third Monday of January dubbed ‘the most depressing day of the year’ – Newcastle United Foundation and Sunderland Foundation of Light are coming together to spread mental health awareness across the North East.

Gary added: “I openly talk about what happened to me and try to help to raise awareness of mental health matters. Believe me, you are not alone and talking helps.

“Even by just recognising you have an issue with your mental health, you are already on the road to smashing it.

“When you are trapped in the dark tunnel without a light, you are not alone. In fact, you are surrounded by people who are human just like you and who are willing to help you.

“You are not alone, I am not alone and we are all in this together. Share your thoughts and easy your load. You have got this!”

To find out more about #BeAGameChanger, visit foundationoflight.co.uk/beagamechanger or nufoundation.org.uk/beagamechanger

Alternatively, follow @SAFCFoL or @NU_Foundation on Twitter

20 January 2020

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