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Brentford and Bristol City coming together to raise awareness of mental health issues

30 March 2017

Hounslow Hawks and B Strong U Belong will be raising awareness at Saturday's match

Saturday's match against Bristol City will see charity groups from both Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and Bristol City come together to help raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health.

Hounslow Hawks, a community group which provides football as an activity/therapy for residents who suffer from severe and enduring mental health issues, and B Strong U Belong, a Bristol City fans partnership set up in memory of Robins fan Pete Davies, who committed suicide after silently suffering with mental health issues, will both be raising awareness of the issues at Saturday's match.

The Hawks, with support from Brentford FC Community Sports Trust coaches, run weekly football training and monthly league matches which aim to reduce stigma surrounding mental health, increase social interaction, reduce social isolation and improve players’ structure and routines.  Football as therapy has helped to motivate and maintain positive physical and psychological well-being by using a team sport to promote recovery, increase self-esteem and confidence and aid personal development to allow access to the wider community and resources.

The Trust, together with the Hounslow Hawks, are also planning two new daytime sessions both of which are open to all, including adults requiring support with any mental health issues including anxiety, mild depression and isolation. The first session is a social football group while the Trust are also linking with the Sporting Memories charity to provide a relaxing social time for men to hang out and talk about both historical and recent famous sporting memories. For further information on any of these programmes, please contact either Michelle Nielsen or Peter Shears.

B Strong U Belong is a charity partnership created by a group of Bristol City fans partnered with two charities, Off The Record and Second Step. The inspiration behind BSUB is Pete Davies, a close friend of the group, who sadly took his own life in 2012 whilst silently suffering with mental health problems.  The group’s goal is to help raise mental health awareness as a legacy to their friend Pete. 

BSUB have organised numerous events and fundraisers to help toward their annual target of £10,000 and will be swapping four wheels for two by cycling the 140 miles from Bristol to Brentford for Saturday's match. The cyclists will depart Ashton Gate at 7.30am tomorrow, Friday 31 March, and plan to arrive at Griffin Park by midday on Saturday 1 April.  Their route will take in two places of great personal significance.  Firstly, a stop at Semington Crematorium in Wiltshire to visit the headstone of fellow City fan James ‘Grizz’ Grieve, who was tragically killed in a car accident in February 2016 - James had previously completed a charity cycle to Wembley for their JPT Trophy final in 2015.  Secondly, the cyclists will visit Woking Crematorium, where they will visit Pete’s headstone.

Anyone wishing to donate to this cause can do so here.

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