The Argyle family came together on Tuesday to walk a mile around Home Park in aid of the mental health charity Mind, raising over £2000 in the process.
Representatives from the Board of Directors, staff from both the club and the Argyle Community Trust, and Trust participants tackled the sponsored walk to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
Emma Potter, who organised the event, said: “As a community and a club it’s really important for us to support those who are struggling, and to get the word out that we should be talking about our mental health as we do our physical health. As a Trust, we want people to know we have and will continue to support them, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Community Trust has provided a regular support system through what has been incredibly tough times for all, especially community members who have experienced prolonged periods of loneliness. These interventions included doorstep visits, the EFL Team Talk initiative, and regular Zoom calls.
Emma explained: “Those invited to participate in the mile lap around the pitch are members of ours we’ve had contact with throughout the past year. It was really nice to invite some familiar faces back into the stadium and see the smiles on their faces. To be able to see their seats in around the pitch, sit in the dug outs, to be back in the venue they know so well, was really lovely to see. You could sense everybody couldn’t wait to get back in.
“Just to provide them with an opportunity to talk to us physically makes a huge difference, considering most of our community work within the past year has been virtual. A lot of them haven’t had much contact, so to be able to complete their daily exercise with the company of other Argyle fans was crucial.”
Emma highlighted the importance of social interaction in improving people’s mental health.
“The more we chat, the more we reduce the stigma. But it’s important that we talk to each other every day, not just one day a week.
“The more people encourage the conversation, the more individuals will feel comfortable with getting the help that charities like Mind can offer.
“I think opportunities like Mile for Mind provide a chance to get people talking. Our event allowed our community members to chat to friends, share their fan experiences, reminiscing about being back at games, and openly and honestly share their mental health struggles.”
Well done to all involved!