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Yeovil game has been designated as a 'Match for Mind'

7 January 2022

Southend United’s clash with Yeovil Town has been designated as a ‘Match for Mind.’

The game takes place at Roots Hall on Tuesday 11 January - 7.45pm kick-off.

A handfull of supporters will be walking from Chelmsford to Roots Hall on the day of the game with the match ball.

And the game will be geared around encouraging those struggling to speak out.

The Echo’s Blues reporter Chris Phillips, who is a trustee for SECE Mind, explained: "We’re so grateful for the football club to be working alongside us with this and it really does have the potential to help so many people.

"The main aims of the afternoon will be to encourage anyone who may currently be suffering with a mental health issue to speak out and to also make them aware of where they can get the help they need.

"There will also be fundraising for South East and Central Essex Mind who do lots of fantastic work in our area.”

Both sets of players will be warming up in Mind t-shirts for the National League encounter while a mental health workshop, giving guidance and advice, will also be taking place before kick off.

Southend based mental health group Run Free will be taking part in the half-time competition while, subject to being given permission, members of the group will also be carrying the matchball from Chelmsford to Southend on the morning of the game to cover all of the area SECE Mind works in.

And the match involves two teams who have been hit hard by mental health issues in the past.

"My heart still breaks that we’ve lost our former captain Chris Barker and it does as well when reading about Lee Collins, the ex Yeovil skipper, taking his own life last season," said Phillips.

"No-one should ever have to feel that’s their only way out and even if this match helps just one person who is struggling then it’s definitely worth it.”

"More people struggle with this than you would ever imagine and we all have a part to play."

Caroline Grant, CEO of SECE Mind, said: "We are really pleased that SUFC is supporting South East and Central Essex Mind as a local mental health charity and the work we do by dedicating this ‘Match for Mind’.

"Mental health is more important than ever and we have seen an increase in the number of people who are looking to support themselves or someone they know. We aim to promote and protect good mental health and working together with SUFC enables us to get people talking about their own challenges, find the support they need and learn how to support others."

Blues fans Scott Wheeler, Charlie Blissett, Sarah Franklin, Robert Askew and Keiron McGill will also be taking part in the walk with Chris, while the Shrimpers Trust will be providing the support vehicle.

Anyone wishing to sponsor the walkers can do so here, with all money raised going to SECE Mind.

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