Network Rail staff host football match for mental health charities supported by Pompey legend

Hot on the heels of last night’s England match, another football match kicks off this Friday (9 July) to raise money for charities working to support mental health.

The fixture, organised by Network Rail teams at Basingstoke and Havant, starts at 6.30pm at the Horndean football club in Hants with money raised being split between the charities Samaritans and Mind.

A raffle and auction will be held with prizes donated by local businesses. This includes: football boots signed by Champions League winner and England player Mason Mount, a Harrods hamper, Korda fishing gear,and champagne gift sets with all proceeds going to the charities.

The match will also hold a minute silence to remember and pay tribute to all those people who have lost their lives after struggling with their mental health.

Jenna Hayden, signaller at Network Rail Wessex and one of the match organisers, said: “Mind and Samaritans continue to carry out amazing work to support those in need, even more so throughout the pandemic when the support that people may usually have, has been harder to get.  It’s important that we eliminate the stigma surrounding talking about our own mental health and to reassure people that its ok not be ok all of the time and let them know that there is help out there if it’s required. 

“It’s been a really tough 18 months for everyone, so we’d like people to come along on Friday for a fun evening of football to support these worthy causes.”

Alan Knight, a Portsmouth football club legend agreed to be involved and support the game. Alan said: “When I was made aware what the teams from Network Rail were doing to raise awareness of mental health, I was honoured to be involved.

“It’s important to acknowledge the fantastic work frontline staff at Network Rail do to support people with mental health problems, and the affect it has on them.

“What started as a friendly game of football between the two depots, has grown into a big family event to not only raise awareness of mental health, but also  to raise money that will be put towards such worthwhile charities.”

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