Welsh Water fund offers extra helping hand to Cheshire mental health support group

6 April 2021

A project to support people in Chester and Ellesmere Port who have experienced mental health issues during the Covid-19 pandemic has benefitted from a community fund initiative run by Welsh Water.

Working in partnership with Cheshire Community Foundation, the not-for-profit utility company identified the project which has worked hard during the pandemic to reach out to those struggling with the lockdown and the challenges it has brought.

The project run by Chester Mental Health & Wellbeing Football Club is already an award-winning programme supporting men and women who have experienced mental health issues.

In response to Covid-19 and its impact on face-to-face activities, the club established the Chester FC Community Contact initiative to provide support to those who have found themselves isolated during the pandemic. This project has included the provision of telephone support and befriending opportunities, practical help with essential tasks and resources to promote physical and mental wellbeing.

The funding enabled the club to continue supporting participants during lockdown by providing resources and activities to help them keep active at home to support their physical and mental wellbeing. Regular Zoom calls and using social media to keep connected to provide support with assistance for collecting prescriptions and essential shopping for those who needed to shield.

Chester FC

Jim Green, CEO of the Trust said “The support of Welsh Water has been of tremendous benefit for our participants and has helped our organisation adapt its service in response to Covid-19. It has been a particularly difficult time for our participants who were already finding things challenging with feelings of isolation and their mental health. Their passion for football is infectious and the impact it has on their lives extends far beyond the pitch: it is a support network in their daily lives.

“Thanks to Welsh Water, we have been able to maintain regular contact with our participants, offer them support where needed and ensure a safe return to playing when restrictions are lifted, something that is vitally important.”

Claire Roberts, Head of Community Engagement at Welsh Water, said: “We are delighted to support Chester FC with this project supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic. Mental health is a big issue especially at these difficult times. The club has provided an essential support service to help people through the pandemic and as a not for profit organisation, customers are at the heart of everything we do. Working in this partnership way means that the funding allows us to give something back to the local communities where we operate.”