Everton in the Community’s Imagine Your Goals football team recently travelled to Amsterdam where they successfully defended their title as the current holders of the EASI Cup.
Backed by Alpha Business Products and Ricoh, the group of 10 men were in the Netherlands from 12-16 June and took part in the invitation-only mental health football tournament against teams from across Europe in an attempt to retain their title.
The EASI Cup brings together rehabilitation projects for people experiencing mental health problems and shares best practice of how to use sport and leisure activities as a therapeutic tool to aid recovery. The highlight of the networks activities is the much coveted EASI Cup which takes place each year in a different location hosted by a different member organisation.
Alpha Business Products, long-term supporter of EitC, and Japanese multinational imaging and electronics company Ricoh have teamed up to sponsor the Imagine Your Goals team in their quest to keep hold of the trophy. Both organisations have strong CSR agendas and values aligned with the Club’s official charity and are keen to support EitC’s mental health programmes.
Jonathan Garside, EitC Health and Wellbeing Manager, said: “We were thrilled to have the support of Alpha & Ricoh as the EitC Imagine Your Goals team headed out to Amsterdam to retain their European Championship title. It’s a really key date in the diary and one that has a really positive impact on the player’s state of mind and wellbeing.”
Liam Guinan, Alpha Business Products, added: “We are delighted to support such a worthy project in Imagine Your Goals and are thrilled to hear that the team had won the EASI Cup in Amsterdam. Congratulations to Jonathan and the team.”
Launched in 2008, Imagine Your Goals is a ground-breaking fitness programme that offers local people who are living with mental health issues an opportunity to talk about their problems and seek help and support in a familiar environment. Funded by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, the programme provides seven specialised football sessions every week across Merseyside and the success of the programme has seen the charity establish Merseyside’s first ever mental health football league.
The successes achieved through the Imagine Your Goals programme has seen Everton in the Community’s Health and Wellbeing team develop five additional mental health programmes in partnership with Mersey Care, supporting individuals experiencing dementia, unemployment and isolation.