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Social cafes helping people in Doncaster

15 May 2019

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Club Doncaster has been working with Doncaster Mind to host a number of social cafés throughout the season.

Club Doncaster and Doncaster Mind social cafes have been making a big difference to the lives of people in Doncaster.

Social cafés offer an opportunity for people to come together in an informal scenario and provides an opportunity for people to speak about mental health, get helpful advice, or simply enjoy a cup of tea and a chat.

Jenni Hall, Doncaster Mind wellbeing worker, said: “We usually host the social cafes at Doncaster Mind well-being hub and the guys seem to have really enjoyed it – it’s outside their usual routine, different venue, they get to meet different people and they seem to have really enjoyed that.

“The sessions are a place for people to go to – it’s a safe place and somewhere people can get peer support with people who understand what it’s like to have a mental health condition and not be alone. Peer support is how we help each other.”

Matty Blair is a familiar face at the social cafés, attending almost every one.

He added: “The social café is a cup of tea or coffee, a slice of cake and a chat at the stadium. People talk about the 'talking cure' and it's true. The hard bit is getting started and that's why it's so important to make time for people. It's incredible what you can do with even a 30-second conversation.

“There's a guy who comes who struggles to remember his own phone number but can reel off 30 years' worth of Doncaster rugby league line-ups - sport can open doors that other things can't.

Rovers commitment to working with Mind Doncaster falls in-line with an EFL wide push to raise awareness of Mental Health. The EFL chose Mind as their main charity partner and as a result, the names on the backs of the shirt begin with the Mind squiggle.

Blair added: "The work the clubs, league and (players' union) PFA have done on mental health is phenomenal. We've come a long way but there is a lot more to do and I don't see this as a one-year fix - it's a generational thing.

"My little boy will be a lot more educated about mental health than I was, he will be brought up being able to speak about wellbeing. That's great - who wouldn't want their kids to be better equipped to deal with life?"

Rovers have launched a charity auction in aid of mental health charity CALM. The shirts are now available to bid on with the auction due to finish at 8pm, Sunday May 19. Click here for more details about the auction.


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