Mental Health Programme Receives Funding Boost

Everton in the Community and Edge Hill University’s Tackling the Blues programme has received a financial boost worth £527,000 from The Office for Students and Research England to expand its delivery while further increasing the wellbeing and arts opportunities to its participants.

The funding comes in recognition of the vital impact the programme has had on its participants which engages more than 250 young people weekly in primary schools, secondary schools and community groups.

Tackling the Blues is a sport, art and education-based mental health awareness programme developed by Everton in the Community and Edge Hill University which supports children and young people aged six to 16-years who are experiencing or are at risk of developing mental illness.

The additional funding will further grow the arts and wellbeing activities within Tate Liverpool now joining the partnership whilst further strengthening the successful collaboration between Everton in the Community and Edge Hill University which prior to the temporary suspension of programmes due to the coronavirus pandemic worked in a total of 13 school groups from across the region. 

Andy Smith, Professor of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill, said: “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Everton in the Community, the charitable arm of Everton Football Club, and more recently with Tate Liverpool, and both partners are hugely committed to this programme.

“The funding will allow us to expand our activities with them and grow the arts and wellbeing activities. Crucially, it will enable us to increase students’ engagement in our research and knowledge exchange activities and provide them with unique opportunities to work with our partners to positively impact the lives of our communities.”

The programme is led by a fully qualified coordinator from Everton in the Community, and supported by students from Edge Hill University currently studying in a relatable field. Together, they support children and young people in the Merseyside region through a range of interactive and engaging activities tailored to young people which focuses on raising awareness of mental illness and the support they can receive.

Everton in the Community’s Tackling the Blues Coordinator, Jack Mullineux, said: “To be one of the recipients of this funding is great news and it will allow us to continue to work with our long-standing partner Edge Hill University but also create a new and exciting opportunity to work with Tate Liverpool.”