Sky Blues in the Community
Local Community Partner
Based at the Ricoh Arena, Sky Blues in the Community is the official charity arm of Coventry City Football Club. The charity is formerly a department of Coventry City FC, formed in 1993 to deliver football in the community initiatives on behalf of the club.
Over the years, the role of Sky Blues in the Community has changed dramatically, from offering traditional football development activities to playing a greater role in driving personal and community development in Coventry and Warwickshire.
With that in mind, the vision for the organisation is ‘Change lives in our local community’ To focus and influence the work of Sky Blues in the Community in achieving their mission and to address local priorities, their work is categorised under four core themes, each with their own headline goal:
- Sport: Engage people of all ages and abilities in sport and physical activity
- Health: Promote healthy behaviours, empowering people to take control of their own health and well-being
- Education: Inspire learning and personal development to raise aspirations, attainment and achievement
- Inclusion: Provide opportunities for people and communities that face common barriers
One of the most recent initiatives launched by Sky Blues in the Community is ‘Men Talk’, which aims to support 1,600 men over the next five years across Coventry and Warwickshire with their emotional health and well-being. Sky Blues in the Community aim to target men due to the alarming statistic that shows suicide to be the leading cause of death for males under the age of 50.
The Mental Health Foundation estimate that only 9% of men with mental health problems access support services. Sky Blues in the Community are uniquely placed as an organisation, in local men’s hearts and minds, to be able to appeal to them and offer support to tackle the hidden crisis of mental health problems among men.
The Men Talk programme offers a 6-week intervention followed by optional weekly maintenance sessions. The intervention will take place once a week in a non-clinical environment. Each session will have a physical activity, led by a Senior Community Coach, and a mental health workshop led by a Mental Health Coordinator. The physical activities will be codeveloped with the participants and will likely include group exercise, team games and creative activities.
The mental health workshops will also be chosen by the participants, and will likely include topics such as:
- Goal setting
- Life balance
- Healthy body
- Personal health
- Stress management
- Substance misuse and smoking cessation
- Understanding psychosis, depression, and anxiety
- Healthy eating and menu planning
Men Talk launched virtually in early 2021, and as government restrictions begin to ease, Sky Blues in the Community are delighted to kickstart some of the first first face-to-face sessions at the Coventry Allegr 12.
Why are we getting involved?
Allegr 12 provides us with a perfectly aligned, totally inclusive activity platform to encourage our participants to get out and get moving, and get talking - in aid of their mental health. Well timed with the Roadmap, this safe and responsibly organised forum will be a wonderful way for the men to socialise and engage in some much needed human interaction and exercise.
What are we doing?
Referred individuals of the Men Talk programme will be invited to simply show up on 17th and move around the Allegr Route for as far as they feel they can manage. Sky Blues in the Community will be on site on the day for reassurance and encouragement - to take this first, very positive, step - we hope - of many.
Thank you for any support you can give so we can support the SBitC.