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Football tournament gives service users "All to Play For"

​Men from across Norfolk and Suffolk have been given the chance to socialise, boost their confidence and enjoy some friendly rivalry at a special football competition organised by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

Teams from the Trust's three "All to Play For" groups, which are run in conjunction with Active Norfolk, took to the pitch yesterday (3 October) to compete in a round robin tournament at the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe, Norwich.

They were joined by players from Inspire Suffolk and Street Life Soccer, which is run by Norwich City's Community Sports Foundation. The team from Inspire Suffolk were crowned champions following an afternoon of action.

The tournament was organised to celebrate the success of the All to Play For groups, which help men look after their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Launched last year, they are open to all adult men – both in and out of services – who feel they need extra support with their wellbeing. After taking part in an hour-long game led by a qualified coach, they can attend an informal drop-in session where they can pick up information and advice from different support services on subjects such as finance and housing.

Andy Fisk, Community Mental Health Nurse with NSFT, helps run the sessions. He said: "We were delighted with the success of yesterday's competition, which saw around 60 players from across Norfolk and Suffolk take to the pitch and battle it out for the title of champions.

"We organised the event to encourage some friendly rivalry while also giving the players something to aim for which would help build their confidence still further. Everyone who took part really enjoyed the day and is already looking forward to our next tournament.

"We've been overwhelmed by the success of the groups so far and are continuing to receive really great feedback, with people crediting them with helping to improve wellbeing, boosting low mood and reducing anxiety. Lots of the guys are also bringing along friends, family and carers, which all helps to create a really friendly and supportive atmosphere."

For more information about All to Play For, or to join a session, contact Sam Watts, Project Officer with Active Norfolk, on 01603 731564 or by emailing 

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