The EFL has announced a two-year extension to the ‘On Your Side’ partnership with Mind. Under the terms of the new arrangement, the mental health charity will continue as the EFL’s Official Charity Partner until at least the end of the 2021/22 season. The ground-breaking and innovative collaboration began in 2018 with the aim to increase the visibility and awareness of mental health, and raise vital money to deliver life changing support across the country.
To launch the partnership, the EFL and Mind created the ‘On Your Side’ joint identity and for the first time ever in English football, a new lettering design incorporating the charity’s logo into the player name on the back of every EFL shirt was created, alongside bespoke pin badges in individual club colours for managers and club staff to wear and this will continue for the remainder of the partnership. The EFL and its clubs have also worked closely with Mind on a number of activations and high-profile campaigns involving players, staff and fans to highlight the importance of discussing our mental health, including the Kings Cross World Mental Health Day activation in 2018 and the ‘Goals Worth Talking About’ campaign to mark the date in 2019. Through money raised through the partnership, Mind’s ‘Get Set to Go’ programme, which aims to support people with mental health problems to become physically active, has also been further extended with the involvement of nine EFL Clubs across the country.
A Mental Health programme developed by Mind has been provided to all EFL Clubs. This offers mental health awareness training for all staff and supports clubs to connect with their local Minds to form a legacy for the future. Matchday activations across all three Leagues at league matches and at EFL Wembley Finals have raised the visibility of the partnership and vital funds for the charity.
Rick Parry, EFL Chairman, said, “The EFL is extremely proud of the charity partnership with Mind and we’re delighted to be able to announce a two-year extension. Since the ‘On Your Side' partnership began ahead of the 2018/19 season, we have worked closely with Mind and EFL Clubs to improve the approach to mental health in football and wider society, raising awareness and vital funds for the charity. Many players, managers, club staff and fans have also shared their personal stories to further encourage conversation around mental health.
“While important and positive steps have been made through the partnership, there is still work to be done to improve mental health within football. We look forward to working with Mind over the next two seasons as we continue to tackle one of society’s biggest issues.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said, “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with the EFL for a further two season. Working with the EFL and its clubs over the past two seasons has given us a brilliant opportunity to bring about real change, not only at community and club level, but also nationally. We look to continue this vital work in the seasons ahead with ambitious plans to reach more people who feel they have nowhere to turn and to ensure that whoever a fan supports, our partnership with the EFL means Mind is here to support them.”