Leicester’s professional sports clubs have teamed up to support the communities they serve.
UnitedLeicester.com is a free online platform where members of the sporting community in Leicester have shared their own stories in the hope that they can help to break down the stigma around mental health and encourage anyone who is struggling to find support.
Funded by NHS Charities Together, Leicester Hospitals Charity, Raising Health (Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust) and the East Midlands Ambulance Charitable Fund, and developed by wellness solutions company Frog Systems, the United Leicester hub contains powerful personal videos as well as links to local support organisations and helpful resources.
Current and past players, as well as many staff and supporters from each club has contributed.
Launching today, on World Mental Health Day, the hub will share positive wellbeing messages to encourage more people in Leicester to lead healthier, happier lives.
Sam Swift, Leicester Tigers Foundation manager, said: “The wellbeing hub is a fantastic opportunity for the four professional clubs of Leicester to be able to offer support for their fans and beyond, across a wide variety of hard-hitting topics.
“By using real fans, staff and legendary players talking about how they have overcome their own challenges, we have been able to create an authentic service which has the capacity to help and engage across challenging agendas.
“The fans of all of our great clubs provide the foundation and platform for our clubs to succeed. We hope this hub allows the clubs to continue to give back to our fans and support alternative needs.”
Ian ‘Dosser’ Smith, former Leicester Tigers captain and head coach, added: “Mental health has long been a taboo in sport but now is the time to challenge this and help those around us to gain the right support and guidance.
“Gathering the history and fan base of the four professional clubs will hopefully allow this platform to reach out and engage a much wider audience, offering vital support to those most in need.
“Having been involved in professional sport and education for all my working life, I hope to be able to continue to use my experiences on and off the pitch to help others.”
United Leicester project is a partnership project delivered by local professional sports clubs via their official charities – Leicester City in the Community, Leicester Riders Foundation, Leicester Tigers Foundation and Leicestershire County Cricket Club Foundation – promoting positive wellbeing.
Developed by Frog Systems, the platform has videos explaining how sport has helped people in the community overcome challenges such as depression, racism and addiction.
Phil Worms, chief executive of Frog Systems, said: “We are delighted to be working with the sports clubs in Leicester to deliver this important project. The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have had a huge impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing so we hope this platform will encourage people to reach out and get the help they need.”
Having relaunched earlier this year, the project with an emphasis on supporting adults, by providing weekly sport and activity sessions.
United Leicester has been supported by a grant from NHS Charities Together, Leicester Hospitals Charity, Raising Health (Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust) and the East Midlands Ambulance Charitable Fund.
You can visit the new mental health and wellbeing hub at www.unitedleicester.com.
Each club is providing weekly activities to support adults with their mental and physical wellbeing.
For more information contact Tigers Foundation manager Sam Swift by emailing [email protected].