Head In The Game

Our foundation is dedicated to promoting mental health, and we are committed to providing financial support to those who wish to make a difference throughout South Yorkshire. In support of World Mental Health Day, we want to share with you the fantastic work by Head In The Game that we have had the pleasure to fund.

Who are Head in the Game ?

Head In The Game is an organisation that brings men together to bond over the beautiful game while promoting mental health and wellbeing. Its delivery team comprises mental health & wellbeing experts, football coaches, talking therapy leads, and community-based ambassadors who all bring their unique personal experiences to the table.

This initiative was created as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the need for more support for men looking to talk about their mental health and wellbeing. Head In The Game offers a safe, secure, and welcoming community environment where men can engage with one another to prevent the escalation of poor mental health.

The organization is driven by its mission to prevent and reduce the number of male suicides at the earliest possible intervention point. In short, Head In The Game uses football as a vehicle to start these often-difficult conversations and provide support where it's needed most.

Aims and objectives:

  • To tackle the stigma of talking openly about men’s mental health
  • To promote positive physical and mental wellbeing
  • To reduce the strain on frontline services (doctors, hospitals, A&E departments) by engaging with men at the earliest level of intervention
  • To improve health, increase confidence and self-esteem whilst reducing social isolation
  • To raise awareness and help lower the UK suicide rates in men
  • To create open and welcoming atmospheres where personal issues can be raised and discussed in a safe and secure environment.
An image of a man kicking a football on the righthand said of the image , mid kick.  On the left hand-side, an opposition player is running toward the ball

The positive impact of our program extends far beyond the individual beneficiaries. By fostering a sense of community and connection among participants, we have witnessed a ripple effect that has spread throughout the wider community in Sheffield. 

Head In The Game

A man on a football pitch smiling with his arms crossed.

The Impact of Funding

The funding supported the expansion of Head In The Game’s delivery model and demonstrated the positive impact that small steps can have on a person's mental wellbeing. Their organisation hosted weekly football training sessions for men aged 18-55, regardless of skill level, on 3G all-weather floodlit pitches around Sheffield. These sessions were complemented by an open 'talking therapy' session before and after each training, providing a safe space for participants to discuss their mental health and receive peer-led support.

This project is essential because it addresses the stigma surrounding men's mental health and offers a way for men to receive support and guidance in their community. Additionally, participants could become ambassadors and gain the knowledge and experience needed to become mental health support leads themselves.

Overall, this project promoted positive physical and mental wellbeing, reduced the burden on frontline services, increased confidence and self-esteem, reduced social isolation, raised awareness, and helped towards supporting the reduction in male suicide rates within the UK. The project also created a safe and welcoming environment for productive conversations about the increasing importance of mental health.

Head in the game is such a good thing for such a good cause. Getting people active rather than sat at home on an evening, it’s given me and I’m sure many other people a break to spur them on to be more active and get out doing more whether it be a walk or run, to more active with friends and being more social. It’s more than football it’s a way of bringing people out of their shells and the usual 9 to 5. Couldn’t recommend it enough.

Head In The Game

A man in blue and white football kit kicking a football towards a goal, mid-kick.