A football team which uses sport as a platform for mental health awareness has announced its first ever shirt sponsor.
Place 2 Place Football Club, which has five-a-side teams in Wigan, has secured the backing of DPW Roofing, which has provided a welcome boost for the coffers as the team looks to expand ahead of its first anniversary.
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Place 2 Place is the brainchild of Peter Hill, and uses the football pitch as a friendly environment to promote a positive attitude towards mental health and life’s everyday challenging circumstances.
There are currently four squads, Red, Blue, Black and White. DPW Roofing has sponsored the blue team, providing funds for the shirts as well as providing free water bottles for the players.
Peter said: “After asking them all for lots of subs at the beginning, it was nice to be able to give them something back.”
Wigan town centre’s McDonald’s branch has also contributed to the team by providing goalkeeper gloves, footballs and kit bags.
Peter, a 34-year-old dad of one, came face to face with the devastating effects of depression in 2014 when his best friend took his own life at the age of 30, followed by several family members.
Peter decided to take a stand against mental health stigma, starting with a charity bike ride to the French capital called Pedal 2 Paris, and then Place 2 Place FC.
And after securing their first financial backing, Peter is now on the hunt for sponsors for the remaining three teams.
“It means we don’t have to struggle as much for funds anymore,” he said.
“If people want to get involved, by all means do.
“We just want to get to the stage where we have a group of people that are all saying the same message about mental health and helping each other out. We’re not mental health specialists, but what we do have is people trying to help. Hopefully this goes a little way to solving that.”
Plans are also afoot to hold an awards ceremony in October to celebrate the first full year of Place 2 Place FC and its campaign to get more people talking about mental health issues. To find out more about sponsoring the teams or joining as a player, visit facebook.com/place2placefc