An exciting new football-related programme is to be launched to tackle two key issues by delivering an already tested physical and mental health education programme in areas hit hardest by CV19. Families in targeted areas will be invited to take part in the project and work towards increasing their physical activity, becoming more resilient and strengthening their mental health.

NHS Grampian Endowment Fund, the official health charity of NHS Grampian, has awarded £50,000 to AFC Community Trust from funds allocated by NHS Charities Together. Captain Tom’s amazing 100th birthday fundraising efforts that raised a staggering £32m is being targeted at communities in need in Grampian.

It has been reported that people living in deprived areas are twice as likely to be affected by CV19. By educating people around their mental health and getting them physically active and eating more healthily, the programme aims to reduce obesity in targeted communities and to help families become more mentally and physically resilient.

AFC Community Trust is a registered charity, leveraging the power of the Aberdeen Football Club brand and the passion for football to change lives for the better, empowering communities and individuals and developing the next generation of young people. Education is at the heart of its mission, intrinsically linked to healthy communities and football for life programmes.

Robbie Hedderman, partnership and business development manager at AFCCT, said: "We’re thrilled that NHS Grampian Endowment Fund has selected the Trust to receive the first grant. It’s testament to the incredible work of everyone at the Trust in developing football-related programmes that deliver tangible outcomes in terms of positive impacts on people’s health and well-being.

“It’s been widely reported that one in four people will experience mental health issues as a result of lockdown. Equally, it’s been identified that obesity could cause additional complications or affect the recovery of an individual contracting the virus. Our physical education programmes aim to tackle and prevent obesity and mental health problems, helping young people and their families, in identified deprived areas, to become more resilient and encouraging them to live healthier lives.”

NHS Grampian Endowment Fund is the leading health charity for Grampian which safeguards donations made by patients, families and users of health services. It recently led the comfort box campaign to make sure doctors and nurses in every ward and other health service staff had a box full of goods to help boost morale.

Sheena Lonchay, operations manager for NHS Grampian Endowment commented: “We’ve worked with the Aberdeen Football Community Trust before and have always been impressed with their programmes across the north east which have a proven track record to support people’s mental and physical health.

“The priorities set by our Trustees and the guidance provided by NHS Charities Together on the use of the first round of funding led us to look at how we could support disadvantaged communities in Grampian. As we had worked together previously we liked AFCCT’s methods and the benefits of their programmes and worked with them to develop a project to support targeted communities.”

NHS Grampian Endowment Fund has now officially launched their CV19 grants programme and is inviting charities to apply for up to £10,000 for specific projects that will support people who have been impacted by CV19. Applicants can be from NHS Grampian, the Health and Social Care Partnership or the Third Sector.

There will also be a further allocation of funds from NHS Charities Together aimed at the Health and Social Care Partnerships to help develop new ways of supporting patients in the community. The Endowment Fund is currently working with the Health and Social Care Partnerships, ARI and Dr Gray’s, and the third sector interface organisations to develop projects that will make a real difference in our communities.

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