Town ‘keeper visits ‘Park Art’ event on Thursday
Ian Bennett kicked-off Town’s ‘One Game, One Community’ program of activities on Thursday afternoon by attending an event designed to encourage the creative talents of people with mental health problems using football.
Goalkeeper ‘Benno’ travelled to the Zone on St. Andrews Road to get involved with the ‘Park Art’ Event, held in association with Huddersfield Town and the Reflections Art Health Charity.
Around 50 mental health service users attended the event and between 11am and 3pm there were activities such as table displays, a drama production, music and even Nordic walking to add to an extensive art and photography exhibition – all produced by people with mental health issues.
Ian watched the 10-minute drama production before having his picture taken with the cast and moving onto the impressive artwork and photography displays.
Before leaving ‘Benno’ tried his hand at archery – there on the day to help attendees clear their mind and focus on a task at hand.
The event was free to attend, with any voluntary donations made used to support local artists by Reflections.
Reflections Art Health Charity specialises in showcasing the creative talents of people with mental health problems and the charity’s Angie Russell explained that football is a great medium to do this:
“Both Tony (Angie’s husband and Reflections Chair of Trustees) and I are big football fans and we have a fantastic relationship with Gordon Taylor and the PFA.
“For us, football is the perfect vehicle to use to promote Reflections; not only does football engage people, but we feel there is an underutilised link between mental health issues and football.
“There have been some very sad, high profile cases recently such as Gary Speed’s death and Vincent Pericard’s struggles and we hope we can do our part to help.”
Town has a long-standing commitment to involving mental health service users in football; the Club’s ‘Football in the Community’ department hosts the ‘Good Mood League’ on a weekly basis – an initiative supported by the West Riding County Football Association for people who use services provided by South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust.
Members of the ‘Good Mood League’ took to Town’s Stadium pitch at the half time break of the First Team game against Swindon Town in March 2011 to take on a team of Huddersfield Town legends.
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