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Bannsiders and Hummingbird Project strike unique mental health deal

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IT’S game on today for the elite sports team at Coleraine Football Club who have teamed up with the Hummingbird Project as part of its continued commitment to community engagement.

The new partnership will see the Bannsiders support the award winning local social enterprise by promoting its mental ill health and resilience work within the local community.

Players, coaches and staff at the football club have been warming up to use their individual profiles and the club’s strong community presence in a game plan that will put the spotlight on Hummingbird’s projects designed to improve people’s mental health; their life circumstances as well as reducing the stigma that still surrounds mental ill health.

The Hummingbird Project is unique in that it is run by a team of mental health experts who use their own ‘lived experience’ of mental ill health and trauma to achieve the very best outcomes for clients. They lead and support by example; a philosophy very much endorsed and practiced by Coleraine Football Club.

Colin McKendry, Coleraine FC Chair, welcomed the new partnership: “We are proud to support the Hummingbird Project and recognise that both our approaches to community involvement are very similar. This makes us a great fit. It’s not about doing everything for yourself or by yourself. At some stage we all need help and support, and this partnership is based upon that principle.”

Leigh Carey, the CEO of Hummingbird, who founded the Social Enterprise because of her own personal experience of trauma said:

“We are delighted to be involved with this exciting new community partnership with Coleraine FC; our local Irish League club. Many of our staff, volunteers and clients at The Hummingbird Project are ardent Bannsiders so we all believe this marks the beginning of something that will leave an enduring legacy for the club.

“As a grassroots mental health organisation, we have been working across Northern Ireland and in particular in the Causeway Coast and Glens area over the last five years, supporting people who struggle with mental ill-health and inspiring them to take ownership of their own emotional wellbeing.

“We believe fervently in tackling mental health issues from a preventative perspective, while offering a range of recovery mentoring, resilience upskilling and workplace wellbeing solutions. At Hummingbird we take pride in our proven ability to make good change happen in people’s lives at individual, organisational and community levels.”

Exciting times lie ahead for Hummingbird and the Bannsiders. Both organisations believe great things happen through collaboration and are asking the community to get involved as they join forces and begin to evolve.

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