Improving confidence through Head 4 Health

Improving confidence through Head 4 Health Image

Wolves Foundation are marking World Mental Health Day today by highlighting projects and initiatives delivered by Wolves’ official charity to provide support and a listening ear to people across the city.

The need for positive mental health and wellbeing has probably never been in the public consciousness as much as it has now, with the pandemic having altered so many lives in recent years and now a cost-of-living crisis affecting so many people heading into the Winter.

The ambition to support ‘healthier and more active people’ is one of the three pillars which underpin Wolves Foundation’s overall strategy, and so, improving mental and physical health is a motivation which influences a whole range of projects.

In particular, over the last 12 months the successful Head 4 Health programme, which was set up in 2018 to help men open up about mental health and share their experiences, has been expanded to include all adults.

With no barriers to attendance, and the opportunity to self-refer, the group is open to people from across the city and many women are now also benefitting from the project.

As these words from participant Louise so perfectly illustrate.

“It has literally changed my life, boosted my confidence and self-esteem,” she says. “I didn’t even have the confidence to attend the first session on my own, so I came with my support worker – my anxiety was through the roof.

“I didn’t want to take part in any activities due to fear of embarrassing myself but that changed as I started to get to know the other members and relax more. Now my cohort has finished, I have carried on engaging in the extra time sessions which continue to help.”

A male participant Gary has felt a very similar boost to his mental health as a result of attending the project.

“Head 4 Health has really improved my confidence in life through the activities and workshops and meeting new people at the sessions,” he said.  “I now socialise much more and the relationship with my wife has also greatly improved. I would recommend Head 4 Health to absolutely everyone.”

The really good news about Head 4 Health is that the project is now into a new cycle of three-year funding ensuring its existence to at least March of 2025.

Initially it was investment from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) Better Mental Health Fund which allowed the programme to be expanded but the long-term funding has been secured once again from the Premier League & PFA Community Fund and, again, part funded by the City of Wolverhampton Council.

“So many of the projects delivered by Wolves Foundation, and not just the health department, have benefits in improving mental health and wellbeing and that is particularly important during what we know are such challenging times,” says health and wellbeing manager, Rachel Smith.

“Head 4 Health has become an integral part of our delivery in opening doors for people to talk about their issues and regain feelings of self-worth and confidence.

“It has been another busy time for the health team but also a very rewarding one with the Foundation being able to positively impact the lives of so many people from across Wolverhampton.”

"Of course it’s so important to give back to the community and Wolverhampton as a whole. It's great to be here and to show our support."

Maximilian Kilman | Wolves Captain and Foundation Ambassador

"As a lifelong Wolves fan, to represent the Club and Foundation is something I'll cherish forever."

Daz James | Wolves Disability FC

"Without Wolves Foundation I wouldn't be here today, that's for certain."

John Martin | Head 4 Health participant

"It is amazing to be out there meeting people and having some fun. It is really important for Wolves to have this connection with the fans and to see the happiness in their faces."

Toti Gomes | Wolves Defender

"Savannah absolutely loves the group. The staff are committed to making every single session fun and welcoming."

Natasha | Healthy Goals parent

"It’s special because it's my club and I’m so proud to be from Wolves as well. I can see the projects and all the work Wolves Foundation are doing and I know it makes such an impact, so to even be a little part of that and to help out where I can – it's so exciting."

Amber Sandhu | Broadcaster and Foundation Ambassador

"It’s huge for the school, I can’t speak highly enough of Wolves Foundation and the opportunities that they give us."

Mr Robinson | Woodsetton School

“I think all football clubs should be the beating heart of their communities and Wolves, through the Foundation, manages to do that."

Johnny Phillips | Sky Sports Presenter and Foundation Ambassador

"We get loads of different opportunities with a Premier League club. I feel really privileged to be a part of it."

Mustafa | Football & Education College Academy student

"Frank has Alzheimer’s Disease and when he was first diagnosed we felt lost and alone. Attending Molineux Memories is a lifeline for both of us; it is run by friendly, committed staff who ensure that everyone is included and enjoys themselves."

Frank and Alison | Molineux Memories

"To come here and be hands on with the kids is unreal. Working with Wolves and the Foundation is a blessing and I'm honoured. It feels surreal sometimes but it's the best feeling."

S-X | Music Producer and Foundation Ambassador

"It's good to give back what you got. Football and the Wolves Foundation help me, so I like to help the community."

Taye | Premier League Kicks

"Wolves is a fantastic football club, and they’re excelling off the pitch as well with all the brilliant community work that the Foundation does. The passion of the coaches and the opportunities to play are amazing."

Jack Rutter | Former Great Britain Paralympian and Foundation Ambassador

"Wolves has definitely helped my personal development, but now also helps me to develop people I work with. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the opportunities Wolves Foundation have given me."

Carl Ackasovs | Wolves Foundation

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