Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, Blues manager Sean Dyche visited Everton in the Community’s purpose-built mental health hub, The People’s Place.
The manager was given a tour of the recently opened building by EitC CEO Sue Gregory and Senior Manager Jon Jones who talked him through the wide range of programmes and services it offers to the charity’s participants and the general public.
After learning more about the positive effects the programme has had on their lives from a group of Stand Together programme participants, Toffees manager Dyche engaged in a lively discussion about all things Everton over a cup of tea.
The conversation was constantly flowing during his time with the group with topics ranging from the recent win over Brighton, his opinions on VAR, the return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and he heard from the room about why Stand Together has been so important to them as individuals and what they enjoy most about the sessions.
Speaking after his first visit to The People’s Place, Everton manager Sean Dyche said:
“The staff I met told me about how the power of the badge can help to break down the initial barrier that people might feel when asking for help – it helps to open doors and make them feel more relaxed, which is very important. It has a very relaxed feel and although you can access health professionals and specialist advice, it doesn’t have that clinical edge which I think is key.
“It’s been great to come and see this great space and also meet with some of the people who benefit from the charity’s work – they were a lively group and I felt like I got a bit of a grilling at times, but I really enjoyed sitting down with them and having a good chat about anything and everything.”
Funded by the Premier League, Stand Together is for anyone aged 65+ who might be struggling with loneliness or social isolation. The programme is actively welcoming new participants to the programme with the two weekly sessions offering individuals the chance to improve their quality of life by making new friends and having fun. A range of activities including trips out, interactive activities and games, live entertainment, guest speakers, physical activity sessions and cooking and healthy eating classes are all on offer to members of the group.
Everton in the Community Senior Programme Manager Adam Howard said:
“The real purpose of a programme like Stand Together is to encourage people to connect with others. When you retire and get older there’s a chance that you could become more isolated and perhaps suffer with poor mental health so it is a place to come and meet like-minded people and have some fun.
“We’ve really enjoyed welcoming the manager to our session today to find out a bit more about our work and how we support and engage with typically hard-to-reach people.”
Stand Together participant Peter Smith said:
“This programme has been so important for me – I found myself stuck in a rut after I retired due to poor health and this has given me a buzz again. I look forward to coming every week and it’s given me a real lift, it’s brilliant and we really are The People’s Club.”
Everton in the Community has been delivering high-quality mental health provision for more than 15 years and The People’s Place is the first hub of its kind attached to a Premier League club. The purpose-built facility promotes positive mental health and wellbeing and provides a space for people to access a broad range of activities and programmes, connect with other like-minded individuals and also access clinical support with a team of GPs, health trainers and psychotherapists on site.
The People’s Place is open and inclusive to all, regardless of age, gender, location or football allegiances.
The visit was part of the Premier League’s ‘Inside Matters’ campaign which encourages supporters to keep up the conversation on mental health by talking and listening to others.
To find out more about the programme or to register an interest in taking part, click here.