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31 January 2019

MENTAL Health and wellbeing was the focus of the latest Inspiring Your Future event at the Pirelli Stadium.

Businesses and community leaders turned out in force to support Healthy People, Healthy Business, which was organised by Burton Albion Football Club.

Former Liverpool and Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was among the speakers, talking about his own mental health battles and how he is now working with the Professional Footballers’ Association to raise awareness.

There were also presentations and advice on the day from Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, former Commander in Chief of the Royal Navy and Royal Submarines and Aurea Fellows, who gave an insight into how nutrition and lifestyle choices impact on mental health.

The event was hosted by Mark Clemmit.

Burton Albion Commercial Director Fleur Robinson said: “When we started this event, originally we thought it would be great to see 50 people here. To have 130 attend is incredible.

“We are all here for the same reason today, because we care about health and wellbeing. There are lots of people already making great strides in terms of health and wellbeing in the workplace and some are taking their first steps but hopefully they can all take something away and make progress.”

Chris Kirkland said: “This event is great, the speakers were all very well informed and what they have said has struck a chord with me.

 “It’s not just about football and sports people, the more we can help people in general the better.”

Paul Laffey, from Burton YMCA, was among those attending the event.

He said: “We see a lot of people with complex lives who are in a poor condition in body and mind, so this isn’t new to us. But we have a number of staff here today who are learning so much from the speakers. We are always thrilled to work with Burton Albion and Burton Albion Community Trust. We do some fabulous work in collaboration.”

Richard Carty, from Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “It was a very interesting, informative event and very topical at the moment with mental wellbeing seen as paramount in the business world.”

James Johnson, from the Smith Partnership, said: “It has been a fantastic event to attend and just to see we are putting mental health at the forefront of people’s minds in business is great. That’s really essential and I hope this is a sign of things to come.”

Scott Kempin, from Urban Retreats and Bootcamps, said: “We are breaking down the stigma around mental health and with the right education and events like this and we are getting the word out to businesses.”

Tina Samson of Molson Coors who attended the Healthy People, Healthy business event with colleagues said:

“The mental health of our employees is really important to us at Molson Coors and we have over 30 specially trained mental health champions across our business supporting colleagues with wellbeing.   I really enjoyed today’s event and learnt a lot from the diverse mix of speakers.  It was also great to see mental health charity MIND supporting the event, who we as a business are also working with this year.”

Proceeds from this event will be used to deliver a wellbeing programme by Burton Albion Community Trust and charity partner MIND within the local area.

BACT Head of Community Matt Hancock said: “You can see from everyone here today that mental health is being talked about in the community and the business world and it’s great that Burton Albion has been able to bring everyone together on what is a very topical issue.

“The Community Trust and Burton Mind have close links. What we are hoping we will get off the back of today is interest from some of the businesses for workplace wellbeing programmes and workshops which means the proceeds from today will have a direct impact on some of the firms who attended.”

Hayley Jarvis, from Burton Mind, said: “It has been really informative and to hear people’s personal stories helps us understand that we all have mental health and it can take a dip. It gives people the confidence to go away and start those conversations on mental health.”

PICTURES: Richard Holmes

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