Moray District Welfare Football Association raises £1100 for Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) charity with backing from Scottish Welfare FA
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WELFARE football clubs are helping to highlight the importance of speaking about mental health issues within their sport.
For the Moray Welfare League, including clubs from the Banffshire area, gave up their rights to medals over the course of the 2021 season to raise money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health charity.
And supporters who attended the league play-off decider between Buckie United and Hopeman donated to the cause, raising a total of £1100 for the cause.
The money raised will be used locally to help anyone affected by mental health difficulties, not just those involved in sport.
John Campbell, chief operating officer for the Scottish Welfare Football Association - who made a donation to the fundraiser - said: “”This is extremely difficult and challenging times for everyone and we as an association want to bring to the front of people’s thinking the real issues men face in relation to their mental wellbeing.
“Across the country our associations are creating links with local charities to help in bringing the key issues and information on how to address any problems being experienced. We want everyone to know where to go in the event they need to talk to someone and access support.
Football was one of the sports affected by the pandemic and Moray and District Welfare Football Association president Colin Souter said his league wanted to do something to help.
“It is something we have been pushing at national level,” he said. “Mental health is one of the main things we have looked at during Covid-19 and we didn’t have football for 12 months.
“We missed a whole season and there was nothing for anybody at this level of football.
Souter said when the Moray league could finally return to action in the summer, it created an opportunity to highlight local servives available to anyone who needed support with their mental health.
“We decided not to give out a lot of trophies, the individual medals and the proceeds from the play-off game went towards charity.”
A thrilling season was contested involving east sides like Portsoy, Buckie United and FC Fochabers taking on the best from the Elgin and Lossiemouth area.
Buckie and Hopeman couldn’t be separated after a league split and even a head-to-head, so a play-off was staged at Elgin City’s Borough Briggs ground, with Buckie claiming the title in front of a 320 crowd.
The proceeds from that day went to SAMH Moray Services and service manager Tracy Grant said: “At SAMH, we know that mental health support has never been more needed and it’s only with the support of organisations like the MDWFA that we’re able be there for people when they need us.
“Their generous donation will be put to good use right here in Moray and help us continue to provide mental health support in the heart of our local community.”
Hopeman FC also made their own personal donation towards the charity effort.