Bridging the gap between young men in farming & football clubs across Wales

A collaboration between the Farmers’ Union of Wales, the Football Association Wales and the DPJ Foundation at the Royal Welsh Show aims to shine a light on how the gap between young men in farming and football clubs across Wales can be bridged.

In a special seminar, which is chaired by Professor Laura McAllister and held onTuesday 25 July at 4pm at the FUW pavilion, the organisations will also discuss the progress that has been made in addressing mental health issues in rural communities and within the agricultural industry.

Those joining the event will hear from Noel Mooney (FAW CEO) who will talk about football clubs as hubs in local communities, how they can be used to house and support mental health services, and their vision for being a football association of wellness; Kate Miles (Charity Manager DPJ Foundation) will talk about the good practice that is already in place, observations on the links between wellbeing and team sports, in particular football and work that is being undertaken and Emyr Wyn Davies (FUW Senior County Executive Officer) will be talking about how the FUW has been supporting members and how the training from the DPJ Foundation has given staff the tools to spot and respond to those who have poor mental health.

Speaking ahead of the event, FUW Senior County Executive Officer Emyr Wyn Daviessaid: “Mental health continues to be an issue for farmers and those living in rural communities. Whilst we have seen some progress over recent years in breaking down the stigma attached to poor mental health, much work remains to be done. 

“This seminar will provide an excellent opportunity to see how we can bridge the gap between young men living in rural areas and those who are involved with agriculture and their local football clubs so that we help those in need faster and better.”

Noel Mooney, CEO of the Football Association of Wales, said: “I am very much looking forward to this very important discussion with the FUW and the DPJ Foundation at the Royal Welsh show around how we can work together to tackle mental health challenges.  

“The Football Association of Wales is committed to doing what we can to harness the power of football for the benefit of communities across Cymru.  People in communities across the nation are struggling with their mental health and we know that people in rural communities are facing particular challenges.  Football clubs sit at the heart of many of these communities and we are working with partners to realise their potential for being hubs where people can access the support they need to improve their health and wellbeing.”

Kate Miles, DPJ Foundation Charity Manager said: “I am grateful to both the FUW and FAW for providing this opportunity to focus on mental health and wellbeing in rural communities.  We know that for many, football provides a chance to get off the farm and to engage with other people around a shared interest.  

“We hope this discussion will allow us all to further explore the link between football and wellbeing and how we can increase our opportunities for supporting the farming community by equipping football clubs with the skills to go further in championing mental health and wellbeing, looking out for their members and being “Together Stronger”.”

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