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New group gives men 'All to Play For'
Men from across Great Yarmouth are being given the chance to get active while looking after their mental health by joining a new football group designed to help improve their physical and emotional wellbeing. 

The free “All to Play For” sessions have been organised by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in partnership with Active Norfolk and are open to all adult men – both in and out of services – who feel they need extra support to stay well. 

They will be able to take part in an hour-long game led by a qualified coach before attending an informal drop-in session where they can pick up information and advice from a variety of different support services on subjects such as finance and housing. 

The sessions will take place at Wellesley, Great Yarmouth FC’s ground, beginning on Wednesday 21 March at 10am. They have been introduced following a successful pilot scheme in Norwich, which ran during the autumn and was credited with helping improve confidence and positivity among those taking part. 

NSFT Community Mental Health Nurse Andy Fisk, who has organised the project, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch this new group in Great Yarmouth, and hope that as many men as possible will come along and join in. 

“The sessions we held in Norwich had a really positive impact on the players, giving them the chance to combat social isolation, make new friends and build their confidence while also taking steps to safeguard their physical and mental health. We hope that people who come along to the Great Yarmouth group will find the session just as useful and as much fun. 

“There is strong evidence to show that physical exercise has a positive impact on mental health. As such, we hope as many men, carers and professionals as possible will join us at these exciting sessions, get active and help us break down the stigma associated with mental health.” 

The sessions have been arranged as part of NSFT’s Men’s Wellbeing Project, which aims to help men take better care of their mental health and improve their access to services. It will see men play alongside mental health staff, with the aim of breaking down barriers between service users and professionals so they can work together more closely. 

Sam Watts, Physical Activity Project Officer with Active Norfolk, said: “Alongside NSFT I’m delighted to be able to offer All to Play For to the men of Great Yarmouth. The initiative has been a resounding success in Norwich and I’m excited to now expand the project to a new area, which I’m confident will be equally as successful. 

“The impact the project has had on the mental and physical wellbeing of those attending has been extremely positive and I encourage men in and around Great Yarmouth to get involved. All sessions will be completely free of charge and mental health support services will be present to provide additional advice.” 

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