Not for Profit

Published: April 28, 2022 | Updated: April 29, 2022

Loneliness affecting young people is targeted at joint AFC Bournemouth & Dorset Mind event

Left to right: Steve Cuss, AFC Bournemouth’s Head of Community; Laura Coombes, Dorset Mind Volunteer Team Leader; Yasmin Brown, Dorset Mind Training & Community Relationships Coordinator; David Pudney, Health Delivery Coach for Community Sports Trust Manager.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Loneliness doesn’t just affect older people.

Recent stats from the Office of National Statistics revealed that nearly one in ten young people aged 16-25 feel lonely ‘often.’

Now Dorset Mind and AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust are hosting a one-off event at the Vitality Stadium for 18 to 24 years olds as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

An important date in the mental health diary, the theme this year is loneliness.

To help tackle the issue, Dorset Mind and AFC Bournemouth are inviting young people to take part in a 30 to 45-minute fun physical activity session at the stadium on Tuesday May 10 from 6pm to 8pm.

The aim is to encourage them to step out of their comfort zones, socialise and learn something new.

The session will be delivered by Community Sports Trust coaches.

After the activity, a short wellbeing workshop will be hosted by Dorset Mind’s expert training team, aimed at getting young people to better know their minds as well as their bodies.

It will cover topics such as the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ and the link between physical and mental health.

The workshop will be supported by members of the AFC Bournemouth Women’s team.

Linda O’Sullivan, Dorset Mind CEO, pictured left, said: “After the pandemic and lockdowns, it’s even more important to encourage young people to connect and talk.

“Our event with AFC Bournemouth provides the perfect opportunity and tools for young people to start to make connections with their peers – and understand that talking about mental health should be as normal as talking about physical health.”

Steve Cuss, AFC Bournemouth’s Head of Community, stressed the importance of tackling mental health in football.

He said: “Physical and mental wellbeing are so interlinked and really important when it comes to our players and communities, particularly for young people.

“We’re so happy to be supporting Dorset Mind during Mental Health Awareness Week to help reinforce this message and to offer a chance for young people to connect.”