Kent Charity ‘Head in The Game’ Support Men’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Through Football

As the Euros create football fever across the country, one charity knows football is so much more than a beautiful game…

Kent charity ‘Head in The Game’ uses experienced football and talking therapy coaches, to
run sessions designed to prioritise positive mental health and overall wellbeing for men in the Tonbridge, West Malling, East Malling, Paddock Wood, Marden, Yalding and Staplehurst areas. With over six hundred men supported since 2021, Head In The Game offers invaluable opportunity for people in the local community to unite and enjoy the sport they love.

The free weekly football sessions cater to anyone between the ages of 18 and 55, regardless of their footballing ability. Under the guidance of experienced football and talking therapy coaches, each session is meticulously designed to prioritise positive mental health and overall wellbeing. By creating a secure and trusted environment these sessions aim to serve as an outlet for participants to address their mental health concerns.

Mark Pinkney, CEO and Founder, Head in The Game said:

“We know that through our football sessions we are producing real, lifesaving results, and our objective is to keep it that way. Our results speak for themselves with 88% of our participants saying they felt mentally stronger after our sessions and all our attendees reporting being happier at the end of the 12 week programme. We are seeing confidence and self-esteem grow in all sessions, with three quarters of participants feeling more able to address their problems and concerns in daily life and there is no doubt that Head in The Game is having a profound impact on our community.”

Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact and Deputy Chief Executive Kent Community Foundation said:

“Kent Community Foundation was delighted to award a £5,000 grant to Head in The Game’s ‘Football For Thought’ Programme in March 2024. The grant will be used to deliver two 12 week ‘Football for Thought’ programmes this September. The programme will teach coping and support strategies, offer sign-posting services and provide a long term support network for the participants. We are thrilled that through this funding, Head in The Game will be able to reach an additional sixty men, who need support with their mental health and wellbeing.”

Mark Pinkney continued, “Head in The Game exists because there is a significant need for it
in the UK. The number of men having suicidal thoughts when feeling worried or low has
doubled to 10% since 2009 with around three-quarters of all registered suicide deaths in
2020 being men. The results of a 2020, Mind survey showed that face to face therapy,
physical activity and social activity were all preferred by men as an alternative to medication.
The funding from Kent Community Foundation will enable us to continue to provide this
important programme directly to the people that need it and help vulnerable adults stay well
and independent.”

About Kent Community Foundation

Connecting People Who Care with Causes That Matter
Experienced grant-maker Kent Community Foundation is the organisation behind the organisations and has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary groups in the county for over twenty three years. In this time, it has distributed almost £57 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.
Kent Community Foundation is part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.

Responsible for more than ninety philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.

For more information on the Kent Community Foundation visit

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