The EFL’s ground-breaking collaboration with Mind, the mental health charity, has been recognised at the 2019 Sports Business Awards.
In a highly competitive category, the partnership received the Silver Award for Best Sports Charity (or best use of sport by a charity) for the ‘On Your Side’ campaign at the ceremony held last week at The Brewery, London.
Every year, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem. That’s one person in every family, so it could be hundreds of footballers and thousands of football fans - that’s why the EFL and Mind decided to join forces.
Through a number of key activities, the EFL and Mind have successfully raised awareness with fans, Clubs and the wider public and improved the approach to mental health in football.
Last season, a new lettering design incorporating the ‘squiggle’ part of the charity’s logo into the player name featured on the back of every EFL shirt across all 72 Clubs for the first time in English football and in October 2018 EFL Footballers turned heads as part of a live exhibit at Kings Cross Station to mark World Mental Health Day.
All of the EFL’s 72 Clubs have been paired with a local Mind to engage directly with staff members and fans and bespoke mental health workshops have been developed for all Clubs and Club Community Organisations to help those in need.
Mind have also been present at all EFL Finals throughout the season raising vital funds to deliver life changing support on a local and national level.
EFL Executive Chair, Debbie Jevans CBE said, “We are absolutely delighted that the partnership we established in 2018 with Mind has been recognised at this year’s Sports Business Awards.
“To receive the Silver Award for Best Sports Charity less than 12 months after the official launch is testament to the support each of our 72 Clubs has given and together the EFL and Mind have been able to raise the much needed awareness of mental health issues across the footballing community.
“It’s a collaboration that has the potential to grow and strengthen and importantly make a significant and lasting difference in such an important area with one in four people being challenged with a mental health issue.
“We all look forward to working with Mind during the 2019/20 season to build on this year’s fantastic achievements.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said, “It’s been a tremendously successful start to our Partnership with the EFL and to receive this award in recognition of that is the cherry on the cake. Over the last season Mind has visited over a third of the 72 EFL clubs with our charity match days, bringing our life-changing information about mental health to fans, as well as raising funds for the local services we provide.
"Through the visibility Mind has on the backs of every player’s shirt, the partnership has reached millions of people across the country. We can’t wait to build on the increased awareness of Mind within the football world through a variety of exciting projects next season so that, together, Mind and EFL can be real game-changers in the way football tackles mental health.”