The eyes of the footballing world may be on the international game this weekend.
But while many League One and League Two clubs are still in action, they and their Championship counterparts have been working in their communities during the international break to mark Saturday’s World Mental Health Day.
Clubs and the EFL’s charity partner Mind are promoting the ‘do one thing’ campaign, which aims to inspire people to look after their mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the work includes:
- Norwich City defender Christoph Zimmerman spoke over a video call to young Sheffield-based fan Noah Bartle and surprised him with a new home shirt after the youngster suffered a bad ankle injury.
- Barrow AFC have delivered match programmes and flowers to an elderly life-long supporter who had been telling friends how much she is missing football.
- Crawley Town have organised a number of activities including delivery of a signed shirt, phone calls from players to fans and a zoom quiz.
- Millwall have held a virtual coffee morning with a number of players, community trust staff and participants of the club’s mental health programme discussing wellbeing and Covid-19.
- MK Dons have been holding mental health workshops working with teenagers to highlight the importance of talking about their mental health.
EFL chief executive David Baldwin said: “Looking after our mental health and that of others has always been vital but as we all feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, it has never been more important to continue to raise awareness and encourage conversations around the subject.
“The various activity taking place is a small example of how our clubs and their respective club community organisations are at the forefront of tackling some of society’s biggest issues. They play a vital role in improving the lives of so many people within communities across the country.”
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, added: “Coronavirus has undoubtedly affected the lives and routines of many fans. Whether that’s seeing familiar faces on the terraces on match day or celebrating/commiserating the result with fellow fans after, many fans will feel that the current climate has left them less able to do the things that support their mental health.
“Whether it’s going for a walk, learning a new skill or doing something creative, taking the first steps to getting support for yourself, or reaching out to someone else; Mind and the EFL are encouraging fans to ‘do one thing’ for better mental health this World Mental Health Day.”
Read More: World Mental Health Day: EFL clubs unite for ‘do one thing’ campaign