Tackling the blues has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution Award in the Local Community Category at the Times Higher Education Awards. A new program which combines sport and bingo in order to tackle mental health in children has been shortlisted for a top award.
TtB is an intervention program, the target audience of which is kids between six and sixteen. It is currently practised in the most disadvantageous areas in Merseyside. The program itself was started from the Edge Hill University, who partnered up with the Everton community, which is the official charity for their football club. Tackling the blues uses education and sport to help kids at risk of or with mental health issues.
Physical activities, emoji bingo and peer mentoring are used to help improve the self-esteem and reduce the anxiety levels in kids. Moreover, it helps them create positive relationships with external agencies and peers.
There are many students from Edge Hill’s Department of Sport and Physical Activity who volunteered. Each of them was trained in internationally accredited mental health qualifications so that they can deliver weekly sessions in many schools, being mentors to the students.
Coaches and mentors from Everton’s charity organisation help volunteers and train them. The club managed to retain and recruit 95% of the young in the past fifteen months.