Over the last 12 months, young people from across England and Wales have been developing ideas to help the mental health of others as part of the Premier League Inspires Challenge.
And all of their hard work was celebrated this week at a special event hosted by radio and TV broadcaster Lauren Layfield and filmed at Premier League Productions in London.
The event showcased the 31 clubs involved in the PL Inspires Challenge, which tasked young people with devising and delivering social-action projects in their local communities.
Each team produced videos highlighting their projects which were shown to the invited audience, while former Premier League striker Dion Dublin and referee Rebecca Welch, the first female official to be added to the English Football League’s national group, recorded thank you messages to the participants.
“I have been hearing about all of the incredible work you have been doing alongside the PL and your local football clubs, keep it up,” Dublin said.
“A massive congratulations to you all for your commitment. You’ve been working in teams, you’ve been helping out your local communities – it does make a difference. You should be very proud of yourselves.”
The Challenge supports the #iwill campaign, which aims to make social action part of life for 10-20 year-olds, and #iwill ambassador Jonelle Awomoyi was in the studio to talk about the Challenge.
Well done to students @Official_BSCA who are our nominated finalists for this year’s #PLInspires Challenge ?
The young people hosted a ⚽ tournament to raise funds for the @IslaStones project, decorating stones of their own to place in the community and spread positivity ? ? pic.twitter.com/W3FLFhnEc4
— Manchester United Foundation (@MU_Foundation) July 1, 2021
Layfield also joined Radio 1 presenter Jack Saunders and clinical psychologist Dr Hazel Harrison in talking about mental wellbeing and the importance of opening up to others if you are struggling.
Helping to inspire
The Challenge is one part of the Premier League Inspires programme, which uses the power of football to inspire young people to develop the personal skills and positive attitudes to succeed in life.
The programme involves club coaches going into local schools to give face-to-face or online sessions to students who have been identified by their schools as needing extra help to get them engaged.
You can find out more about some of the young people that have been helped by the programme by reading their stories below.
Also in this series
Part 1: How Man City help young people find their voice
Part 2: Fulham teaching Franklyn the value of teamwork
Part 3: How Amelia provided vital support during lockdown
Part 4: ‘PL Inspires has given me something to look forward to’
Part 5: Morgan using PL Inspires message to help others
Part 6: Emily focused on the future thanks to PL Inspires