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Enlighten the Shadows ‘Come for a Kick About’ Case Study




‘Come for a Kick About?’ is a football and talk session for men over the age of 18. To deliver this project we have teamed up with a men’s mental health group called ‘Enlighten the Shadows’.  Sessions are free of charge to attend, it’s open to men of any football abilities and experiences. It is run in a very relaxed atmosphere and many participants have admitted that stress they were experiencing before coming to the first session were gone after just a few minutes.


Many participants have noticed benefits of taking part in the sessions. One of those participants is Connor who has benefited both mentally and physically thanks to the sessions. Connor said: ‘’I decided to start attending the session in the hope of making new friends as I was at the beginning of my recovery from drugs and alcohol. I had to remove almost all my friends from my life which left me with little, if any positive social interactions to get involved with.’’ Connor who has been attending ‘Come for a Kick About?’ since January this year very quickly started to play a very important role in the sessions as he always makes an effort to make new participants feel welcome.


Connor says that the impact of the sessions has had a big impact on his self-esteem. ‘’My self-esteem has come on in leaps and bounds since attending the ‘Come for a kickabout sessions.’ It has helped me make difficult decisions in my life with confidence.  I have made new friends and I have also become a volunteer for the men’s mental health group called ‘Enlighten the Shadows’.’’


Connor’s general wellbeing improved thanks to attending the sessions. Physical activity combined with an open space to talk afterwards played important part in this improvement.

‘’I have become physically fitter. The physical exercise, the socialising, being brave and sharing my story has really pulled me out from a dark and isolated point withing my life. I enjoy meeting up and having moments filled with genuine laughter. I’m so thankful to Mike who came onto the online recovery links session at the beginning of the year, offering opportunity to join the ‘Come for a Kick about?’ sessions.”


Connor continued: “These sessions have been fundamental in helping me turn my life around from crippling anxiety I felt day to day along with drug and alcohol abuse I was enduring. I’m now four months clean and sober, with a new career working with SEND young adults as well as volunteering with ETS. I no longer look towards the future with fear and dread, I am a new man. I look forward to waking up each day and wonder of the positive experiences that I might encounter throughout the day. Thanks to Mansfield Town Community Trust, I am now able to share my successful story in the hope it reaches and inspires other that are suffering.’’


Mental Health & Wellbeing and EDI Officer Michal Kasinowicz said: ‘By starting the session in September, we hoped to create a space for adult men where they could enjoy physical activity regardless of their age and abilities. We provided a space where they can enjoy spending quality time with others, have a laugh, get fitter and be not afraid of talking about their problems, challenges and their mental health in general.  I strongly believe that Connor’s story speaks volumes. Connor is very friendly, compassionate person. Seeing the positive impact attending our sessions has had on his self-esteem, confidence, resilience and general wellbeing is simply incredible. Watching Connor interacting with others and having positive impact on other lives is phenomenal.’’


If you would like to find out more about ‘Come for a Kick About?’ sessions or other Mental Health & Wellbeing projects we run,  please feel free to contact Michal Kasinowicz at Michal.kasinowicz@mansfieldtownct.net


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