Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Norwich City - Goodison Park

flourishing partnership between Edge Hill University and Everton Football Club’s official charity, Everton in the Community, is already yielding many benefits for both the University and people living across Merseyside. The partnership will include exclusive opportunities for undergraduates, postgraduates and staff as well as community engagement activities and volunteering opportunities.

Everton in the Community is a leading sporting charity which runs a number of award-winning programmes promoting health, education, employment and equality of opportunity across Merseyside. The charity currently supports 1,500 local charities a year and in 2013 it was chosen by the Prime Minister to win 2013’s Big Society award.

One part of this partnership was launched on Tuesday 18 February when Edge Hill PhD researcher Laura Houghton started the People’s Family Project, an in-depth investigation into the physical activity of children living in the Everton area of Liverpool. The project began with a Family Fun Day on Goodison Road where children enjoyed various activities delivered by Everton in the Community staff and Edge Hill University students including; target competitions, drawing, arts and crafts and face paints. The study will form part of Laura’s doctorate, exploring how family structure affects the health of young people and ways in which health can be improved.

Find out more about Everton in the Community here.

Innovative children’s mental health programme wins top award

copyright-the-awards-andy-smith-and-john-jones-award-tackling-the-blues

A programme combining emoji bingo and sport to tackle children’s mental health across Merseyside, last night (Thursday 24 November) won a prestigious award.

Tackling the Blues (TtB), an early intervention programme for children in Merseyside’s most disadvantaged areas has been recognised for its Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’ at the Times Higher Education Awards.

The programme, launched by Edge Hill University in partnership with Everton in the Community, the official charity of Everton Football Club, uses sport and education to help children aged six to 16-years-old with, or at risk of mental health issues.

Emoji bingo, peer mentoring and physical activities are used to increase self-esteem and reduce anxiety in children whilst helping them build positive relationships with peers and external agencies.

The award judges said the programme “has been selected as a national case exemplar” and has “in the view of educational and health professionals, made a positive contribution in this challenging area.”

They also said it was “remarkable” that more than 95% of participants have continued with the programme over 15 months.

Andy Smith, Professor of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill University, said:

“We’re delighted that over two years’ research-led work, supported by our students and longstanding partnership with Everton in the Community, has been recognised for its impact on and contribution to our local communities, especially children and young people with mental illness.

“Tackling the Blues is a strong partnership which has been recognised by our peers as demonstrating just what impact can be achieved if universities like Edge Hill, together with other educational institutions and the sport and health sector, work collaboratively to address issues which are of international concern.”

winner-outstanding-contribution-to-the-local-community

Andy and his colleague Jonathan Jones collected their award at the ceremony in London, beating strong competition from universities across England and Wales.

Andy said:

“We launched TtB in response to the very significant mental health problems facing young people. Eight in ten are not accessing mental health services, others have to wait nine months to access support.

“Inequality and deprivation are high in the North West and TtB operates in areas ranked amongst the 85% most disadvantaged areas of the country. Our early intervention programme tackles a variety of mental illness from depression and anxiety to eating disorders and anger-management. Without TtB many young people would just slip through the net.”

Volunteer students from Edge Hill’s Department of Sport and Physical Activity and Faculty of Education are trained in internationally accredited mental health qualifications to deliver weekly sessions in schools, acting as mentors to the young people.

Jon Jones, Edge Hill Project Lead for TtB, said:

“Operating across nine secondary schools and two young carer groups, the sessions mix sport and physical activity with educational workshops on topics such as stigma, bullying and emotions where ‘emoji bingo’ is used to encourage children to talk about their feelings. Delivering activities that children can relate to has allowed us to start informal discussions around mental health whilst maintaining their engagement and enjoyment.”

Conor, 13, a pupil at Hillside High School in Bootle, said:

“TtB helps me with my feelings and doing sport. If I felt down or upset or was angry in other lessons I knew I could talk about it and I don’t really get angry anymore.”

Fellow pupil, Nathan, 13, said:

“TtB teaches you how mental health affects people and how you can overcome it. Sometimes I felt upset but I spoke to people in school and my parents. Now if I feel angry I walk away from it. I’m also helping the Year 7s teaching them about mental health.”

Chrissie Doran, Progress Leader for Years 7 and 8 at Hillside High School, added:

“TtB is really helping. We’ve see our students learn new skills, make new friends and they access support from different types of people making them feel more confident and better about themselves. Students on TtB are more likely to come to school, take part in school life and are generally more engaged and communicative.”

The volunteers are assisted by mentors and coaches from Everton’s official charity to maximise the impact of the brand of the Club which has helped recruit and retain 95% of young people over the last 15 months.

Michael Salla, Director of Health and Sport at Everton in the Community, said:

“TtB is part of our wider work in the community promoting health and wellbeing. One of the key areas is mental health and we’ve found football is a highly effective engagement tool to reach people who wouldn’t normally engage. Once they’re involved in a programme we can start a conversation with them, help tackle the stigma and work alongside partners such as the NHS and other agencies where appropriate.”

Charles Knight, a Senior Lecturer in Business and Management at Edge Hill University was shortlisted in the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year category.

Top award nomination for innovative children’s mental health project

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A new programme combining emoji bingo and sport to tackle children’s mental health across Merseyside has been shortlisted for a top award.

Tackling the Blues (TtB), an early intervention programme targeting six to 16-year-olds in Merseyside’s most disadvantaged areas has been shortlisted at this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.

The programme, launched by Edge Hill University in partnership with Everton in the Community, the official charity of Everton Football Club, uses sport and education to help children with, or at risk of mental health issues.

Emoji bingo, peer mentoring and physical activities are used to increase self-esteem and reduce anxiety in children whilst helping them build positive relationships with peers and external agencies.

Andy Smith, Professor of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill University, said:

Andy Smith“We launched TtB in response to the very significant mental health problems facing young people. Eight in ten are not accessing mental health services, others have to wait nine months to access support.

“Inequality and deprivation are high in the North West and TtB operates in areas ranked amongst the 85% most disadvantaged areas of the country. Our early intervention programme tackles a variety of mental illness from depression and anxiety to eating disorders and anger-management. Without TtB many young people would just slip through the net.”

Volunteer students from Edge Hill’s Department of Sport and Physical Activity and Faculty of Education are trained in internationally accredited mental health qualifications to deliver weekly sessions in schools, acting as mentors to the young people.

Jon Jones, Edge Hill Project Lead for TtB, said:

“Operating across nine secondary schools and two young carer groups, the sessions mix sport and physical activity with educational workshops on topics such as stigma, bullying and emotions where ‘emoji bingo’ is used to encourage children to talk about their feelings. Delivering activities that children can relate to has allowed us to start informal discussions around mental health whilst maintaining their engagement and enjoyment.”

Conor, 13, a pupil at Hillside High School in Bootle, said:

“TtB helps me with my feelings and doing sport. If I felt down or upset or was angry in other lessons I knew I could talk about it and I don’t really get angry anymore.”

Fellow pupil, Nathan, 13, said:

“TtB teaches you how mental health affects people and how you can overcome it. Sometimes I felt upset but I spoke to people in school and my parents. Now if I feel angry I walk away from it. I’m also helping the Year 7s teaching them about mental health.”

Chrissie Doran, Progress Leader for Years 7 and 8 at Hillside High School, added:

“TtB is really helping. We’ve see our students learn new skills, make new friends and they access support from different types of people making them feel more confident and better about themselves. Students on TtB are more likely to come to school, take part in school life and are generally more engaged and communicative.”

The volunteers are assisted by mentors and coaches from Everton’s official charity to maximise the impact of the brand of the Club which has helped recruit and retain 95% of young people over the last 15 months.

Michael Salla, Director of Health and Sport at Everton in the Community, said:

“TtB is part of our wider work in the community promoting health and wellbeing. One of the key areas is mental health and we’ve found football is a highly effective engagement tool to reach people who wouldn’t normally engage. Once they’re involved in a programme we can start a conversation with them, help tackle the stigma and work alongside partners such as the NHS and other agencies where appropriate.”

TtB has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community Category in the Times Higher Education Awards. The winner will be announced in London on 24 November.

Charles Knight, a Senior Lecturer in Business and Management at Edge Hill University has also been shortlisted in the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year category.

Edge Hill partners Everton to offer innovative Sport and Mental Health Masters

Edge Hill is launching an innovative Masters degree in association with Everton in the Community (the official charity of Everton Football Club) this September.

The MSc in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health provides a unique insight into the relationship between the three areas. This interdisciplinary course provides the opportunity to undertake cutting-edge, impact-focused and policy-relevant teaching and research related to health and wellbeing in sport, physical activity and related sectors.

Students will work with academic experts, practitioners and other professionals to further understanding of the complex links between sport, physical activity and mental health and develop expertise in the design and evaluation of programmes intended to promote mental health and wellbeing. The course will also examine how mental health may be compromised, as well as enhanced, by participating and working in community and professional sport.

The programme is suitable for graduates as well as current practitioners, professionals and policy makers, who have an interest in sport, physical activity and mental health or health and wellbeing more broadly. The course will also be highly relevant for those working in community and professional sport, including coaches, current and former athletes, safeguarding and welfare officers, and support staff.

Professor Andy Smith

Professor Andy Smith

Andy Smith, Professor of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill said: “Launched at a time when interest in mental health and well-being is gradually increasing, the course represents another important landmark in the Department’s commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of individuals and their communities through its conduct of cutting-edge teaching and research in sport, physical activity and mental health.”

 

Michael Salla, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Everton Football Club said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Edge Hill University with this pioneering MSc Programme. Since 2007, we have prioritised our provision within the mental health field and this is a major milestone for Everton in the Community and is another example of the quality of the partnership we have with Edge Hill University.”

More information about the course can be found here

University conducts health and wellbeing research project with Everton Football Club staff

Goodison, Everton FC stadium

Edge Hill is aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of Everton Football Club’s workforce by undertaking a unique research project with the club.

The study, which is the first of its kind to be conducted by a professional football club, asks staff to complete a survey on a range of topics including their sleep patterns, exercise regimes and diet.

The findings will be used to develop an improved wellbeing programme that is tailored to the needs of employees and ultimately aims to enhance health at work and quality of life.

Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Deputy Chief Executive of Everton Football Club, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for staff to help shape the Club’s health and wellbeing offering. We are wholly committed to providing all of our employees with a wellbeing programme that will enable them to be healthy and happy, both in and out of the workplace, and this informed approach allows us to offer activities that suit the lifestyles and needs of our workforce. Also, as a Club with a history of firsts, we are proud to become the first football club to undertake such an innovative and beneficial study alongside a fantastic academic university like Edge Hill.”

Researchers at the University are leading the project as part of their long-standing partnership with the Blues.

Once they have garnered an understanding of the overall health of the organisation, the research team will identify key topic areas to be discussed in a second phase involving focus groups to explore the type of wellbeing activities employees would like to see within their organisation.

Lawrence Foweather, Senior Lecturer in Sport, Physical Activity & Health said: “We are delighted to be supporting Everton Football Club with the development of an innovative health at work programme to encourage and support employees to live healthy lifestyles. Employees can spend a large proportion of their waking hours at work, and so it is fantastic that Everton recognise their responsibility for the health and well-being of employees. A healthy workforce is not only beneficial for staff, but can result in financial benefits for employers, including reduced sick leave, as well as increased productivity and staff retention. The research, which will involve employees in developing plans and designing programmes, will produce a series of recommendations that can be put into practice, ensuring changes are appropriate and relevant to Everton Football Club and complement wider strategies to improve health and well-being.”

Postgraduate student David Hewson said: “I’m pleased to be a part of the employee health and wellbeing research at Everton Football Club. This research is part of my MRes (Masters of Research) degree and has been educational both in terms of learning how ‘real’ research is carried out in the academic world and also, how a globally recognised organisation like Everton FC operates. I look forward to discovering what results come from the research and how the partnership between Edge Hill University and Everton FC develops in the future.”

The partnership between Everton and Edge Hill dates back to 2013 when the Blues’ official charity teamed up with the university to undertake research-led projects and student academic placements, in a bid to improve the programmes that Everton in the Community offer to the local community.

A five-year collaboration was officially launched in May 2014 to continue this research, specifically in the areas of public health and physical activity, sport policy and community sport development.

Links between mental health and sport explored in World Mental Health Day conference

Labour MP Andy Burnham and comedian, broadcaster and writer Jake Mills are amongst a host of speakers at a conference taking place at Edge Hill University on Thursday 9 October.

The Understanding and Promoting Mental Health: The Role of Sport and Physical Activity conference is being hosted by Edge Hill University, Everton in the Community and Mersey Care NHS Trust and is free to attend.

The conference marks World Mental Health day which takes place the following day, and will seek to promote an understanding of mental health and wellbeing in local communities.

It will consider how community sport and physical activity, delivered as part of broader health programmes, can contribute to the management and promotion of mental health. The implications of publically disclosed cases of mental illness amongst elite athletes and other high profile figures will also be explored.

The conference is the latest event in a ground-breaking collaboration between Edge Hill University and Everton in the Community, which seeks to benefit the local community through research-led projects and student academic placements.

The exclusive five-year partnership involves numerous student-led initiatives in the areas of public health and physical activity, sport policy and community sport development with the objective of overcoming a variety of social challenges facing those across Merseyside on a daily basis.

Earlier this week Everton Manager Roberto Martinez offered his support to the conference when he met with Johnnie Garside (Everton’s Football Mental Health coordinator), Jake Mills, Andy Burnham MP, Matthew Byrne (Mersey Care NHS Trust), and Edge Hill University’s Associate Head of Sport and Physical Activity Andy Smith and Vice-Chancellor John Cater.

Andy Smith, Associate Head of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill said: “We are Andy Smithdelighted to have received the support of Everton Manager, Roberto Martinez, Andy Burnham MP and Jake Mills for our conference which explores the links between sport, physical activity and mental health. The conference marks a real watershed in our partnership with Everton in the Community which goes from strength to strength as we seek to maximise the impact of our academic research on the mental health and wellbeing of the individuals and communities with whom we work. We are especially pleased that our students are not only able to work with Everton and other partners to enhance their academic development, but also their future employability, as they pursue unique opportunities to link theory to practice in real world settings.”

To attend this FREE event, please register online at: surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/worldmentalhealth

Everton Events at Finch Farm

Ground breaking collaboration between Edge Hill and Everton in the Community

everton1A ground-breaking collaboration between Edge Hill University and Everton in the Community,which will benefit the local community through research-led projects and student academic placements, has been officially launched.

The exclusive five-year partnership will focus on numerous student-led initiatives in the areas of public health and physical activity, sport policy and community sport development with the objective of overcoming a variety of social challenges facing those across Merseyside on a daily basis.

At any one time, 30 students from the University work on the project. This gives real experience of working with the charity of a Premier League football club but also of community projects which will help students gain graduate level employment following their degree.

Since September 2013, the official charity of Everton Football Club has been working with Edge Hill University students to engage families living within a one mile radius of Goodison Park to explore how family structure influences health behaviour with a project being delivered based on families’ needs and desires.

Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Executive Officer for Everton in the Community, said: “This innovative partnership is testament to our hard work to link strategically with our regional academic institutions. Joining forces with a fantastic academic university like Edge Hill will enable Everton in the Community to bring global exposure, research and academic validation to our schemes from leading authorities in the different social themes in which our charity works.”

Michael Salla, Health and Wellbeing Manager of Everton in the Community, added: “The level of commitment dedicated to this collaboration is a unique approach for a club community scheme and will considerably scale up our pioneering ability to tackle social issues across Merseyside.”

In the last decade, over £180million has been invested in the Ormskirk campus including a £30million investment in indoor and outdoor sports facilities and a further £200million has been earmarked for future campus developments to ensure that Edge Hill university provides state-of-the-art facilities amongst the very best available in higher education. The partnership between the University and the Club’s official charity will see these facilities accessible to Everton in the Community in the future.

Dr John Cater, Vice-Chancellor of Edge Hill University said: “We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Everton in the Community – the official Charity of Everton Football Club – and together not only deliver such significant projects in the local community, but also provide our students with the type of placement and voluntary work that will provide essential experience to help them gain graduate jobs.

“The project will make a real difference to people’s lives, whilst allowing us to bring three areas of research together, public health and physical activity, sports policy and community sport development.”

Established in 1988, Everton in the Community is firmly established on the world stage of community sports development and is one of the Premier League’s leading community schemes due to the quality and reach of its various programmes.

For the past 26 years the official charity of Everton Football Club has been at the forefront of social intervention across Merseyside, not afraid to tackle issues which others shied away from.

Twitter reaction to Everton in the Community partnership

There has been lots of positive feedback on Twitter to Edge Hill Univerity’s partnership with Everton in the Community. The partnership will include exclusive opportunities for undergraduates, postgraduates and staff as well as community engagement activities and volunteering opportunities. Here’s a few comments.

https://twitter.com/Everton/status/436555477858914304

https://twitter.com/LauraHoughton10/status/436785470471946240

https://twitter.com/AVFCSmithy1874/status/428989752583651328

https://twitter.com/SoMRugbyLeague/status/428891552489172992

https://twitter.com/EHUPress/status/435438841797697536

Edge Hill PhD researcher to investigate physical activity levels

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Norwich City - Goodison Park

An upcoming researcher at Edge Hill University is conducting an in-depth investigation into the physical activity of children living in the Everton area of Liverpool.

PhD student Laura Houghton has arranged a family fun day at Everton Football Club, Goodison Road on Tuesday 18th February from 10am to 2pm to find participants for her study, which will examine in more detail the physical activity levels and lifestyle behaviours of families with young children.

The study will contribute to Laura’s three-year doctorate which explores the wider issues of family structure and its impact on the health of young people and will ascertain whether or not changes could be made to improve the health of families in the area of Everton.

She said: “The research project will provide the first in-depth study of family structure and its impact on physical activity and health amongst children living in families living in Liverpool. This, in turn, will provide a greater understanding of the mechanisms, processes and contexts associated with family structure and its relationship with physical activity and key health outcomes. We can then look at ways to make positive changes through our collaborative partner, Everton in the Community.”

The event has been arranged in partnership with Everton Football Club’s official charity, which rolls out a number of award-winning health, education and employment projects and was chosen by the Prime Minister to win 2013’s Big Society award.

The research will be split into stages; the first will be formative and seeks to find out what kinds of families live in the Everton area. On the day of the event they’ll be asked if they want to take part in the study, and invited to complete a questionnaire.

Laura will then select the families to take part and take in-depth measurements of the children’s activity levels. They will be requested to wear Edge Hill’s brand-new accelerometers throughout the day which use highly advanced technology to measure precise levels of movement and physical activity. Data will also be recorded via a physical activity diary to give a valuable insight into life at home in the Everton community.

If you and your family live within a one-mile radius of the football club and have children aged between three and 11 years, Laura needs you to come down and get involved. On the day of the event, families can come and take a look around the executive lounges, take part in a range of fun activities organised by qualified Everton in the Community coaches, gain advice on living a healthier lifestyle and learn more about adult courses and employment opportunities in the area. The first four families to register will be also given a full stadium tour for free.

The family fun day is completely free and both Laura and Everton in the Community are looking for as many local families as possible to attend. You can register your interest in the event by emailing houghtol@edgehill.ac.uk.