Mental health-focused Denny football team to donate first match proceeds to children's cancer charity
A football side set up to help men with mental health struggles will donate all proceeds from its first match to a children’s cancer charity.
Denny Warriors FC was launched last year so heavier players could get fitter, make friends and speak about their troubles.
Founder Gary Thorn and his teammates are set to take on It’s All Gone Shane Long at Stenhousemuir FC’s Ochilview Stadium this Sunday (11am).
The fixture has been arranged in aid of Children with Cancer and Leukaemia Advice and Support for Parents (CCLASP), which offers emotional assistance to affected families.
The popularity of the Denny Warriors initiative meant the club soon had a 30-strong pool of players to choose from – and enough expressions of interest that it decided to create the Denny Warriors Men's Mental Health Support Group.
Its gatherings allow men, whether they have an interest in football or not, to take part in weekly sessions at Cloybank Farm Cafe in Banknock (Thursdays, 7-8pm) to speak about their difficulties and meet new people.
Those who attend are also invited to join its dedicated Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
Mr Thorn said: “Guys can come along and just listen or they can say what’s on their mind and know there will be no judgement whatever they say or don’t say.
“What’s important for me is that myself and the two other members of the club who are invested in this have all struggled with mental health and still are struggling at times.
“Whether it’s through trauma or circumstance, it’s important people recognise there is no need to feel ashamed about it.
“You are certainly not alone and that’s why the Warriors were named the Warriors – because every day we fight our battles and every day you’re still here, it’s a battle you’ve won.
“At times it may seem too much but you’re still going to stand up and fight it. This group just gives you that little bit of backing because there is strength in numbers and together we can beat any battle we face.”
Anyone interested in attending the support group meetings should contact its Facebook page.
Click here to donate to the CCLASP charity match.