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The Robins Foundation tackle loneliness

This week people and organisations have come together to raise awareness for loneliness.

It's no surprise that this past year has left a lot of people feeling lonely and isolated. As socialising was put on hold, those who had previously relied on attending weekly sessions for their social interactions really struggled. This was very much the case for some of the players of the Bristol City Walking Football team.

When Covid-19 first hit back in March 2020 and sessions had to stop Lee Gillett - the Health and Well-being Lead at the Robins Foundation was conscious that some of the elderly players in the walking football team would find it difficult.

To tackle this Lee would call to check in on players who lived alone for a chat and to make sure they had everything they needed. Lee would also knock on the player's doors that lived locally to him, for a chat and to drop off sport's equipment so players were able to stay active at home.

For many of the players walking football means a lot more than just meeting up with friends and playing football, as for some it is the only social interaction they have. Pre-covid the players would stay after sessions had finished, for a cup of tea and coffee to catch up and check-in with one another. As a team, they would also have quiz nights and organise social events throughout the year. These formed friendships and solid support group has kept many of the players going when they were struggling with their own mental health issues or going through difficult periods of their lives.

Lee Gillett said, "Our walking football sessions are much more than just a kick about, we have created a team spirit where we support each other on and off the pitch."

To get involved and join the walking football team, feel free to come to the sessions below. 

  • Tuesday’s at Imperial Sports Ground South Bristol, BS14 9EA. 10:30am - 11:30am. Cost: £4 (Outdoors)
  • Thursday’s at Imperial Sports Ground South Bristol, BS14 9EA. 10:30am - 11:30am. Cost: £4  (Outdoors)

Should you require any additional information on these sessions, please contact the Robins Foundation on 0117 963 0636 or email: lee.gillett@bcfc.co.uk

If you or anyone you know feels lonely or struggling please contact Samaritans

Call: 116 123

Email: jo@samaritans.org.

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