Community | Salford Mental Health Charity to feature at Tatton Flower Show

START, a mental health charity celebrating 25 years of working in Salford have been chosen to feature in this year’s RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park from 18th – 22nd July 2018.
START will be part of ‘The Bus Stop Boulevard’, a street scene lined with upcycled bus stops, with the charity’s design ‘The Buzz Stop’ inspired by the powerful symbol of the Manchester Bee.
The Bus Stop Boulevard, supported by Bruntwood aims to champion greening and growing in an effort to create healthier and more sustainable cities. The RHS  have partnered with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) for the second year and selected four finalists from across Greater Manchester to design planted-up bus stops as part of the 25m long Bus Stop Boulevard.
START are proud to have been chosen for this opportunity and staff and volunteers have been working hard to pull their ‘Buzz Stop’ vision together.
Ben Thomas of START Creative comments: “There are over 250 types of bee in Britain, all with slightly different characteristics.
The Buzz Stop is a place for them to meet up, stay over and stock up on pollen! Our design will be filled with pollinator- friendly plants, honeycomb and beehive-inspired planters and structures made from Manchester larch, and will hopefully be a hive of activity during the show for both bees and the public. We really are buzzin’!”
The mental health charity will also be showing visitors to ‘The Buzz Stop’ how to improve their own ‘Well-Beeing,’ encouraging people to Connect, Be Active, Take notice, Keep Learning and Give.
For more information visit their website here.

State of Mind | Ten ways to look after your mental health

10 ways to look after your mental health

It’s important to take care of yourself and get the most from life. Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs. We’ve put together 10 practical ways to look after your mental health.
Making simple changes to how you live doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take up loads of time, but it can make a big difference.
Talk about your feelings
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.
Eat well
There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.
Keep in touch
Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded and help you solve practical problems.
Take a break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you.
Accept who you are
Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, others cook fantastic meals. Some of us share our lifestyle with the people who live close to us, others live very differently. We’re all different.
Keep active
Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better. Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.
Drink sensibly
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
Ask for help
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.
Do something you’re good at
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.
Care for others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

New Offload sessions confirmed at The Lighthouse Church

The Salford Red Devils Foundation are delighted to be offering a new block of Offload sessions starting Tuesday 23rd January at the Lighthouse Church.  
A 10-week course will begin on the 23rd January and will run through until April. The sessions with take place at the Lighthouse Church, 12 Coronet Way, Salford, M50 1RE.
You can join forces with past and current players to find out how they cope with the everyday demands of life whilst being a professional athlete.
Discover how they handle criticism, bounce back from injury, manage life in the public eye and what happens when it’s time to hang up their boots.
Offload sessions will pass on the same skills used by elite performers to help you build your own mental fitness and a better mindset.
If you’re interested in getting involved in the sessions contact  
Or for more information on Offload visit their website here, follow @Offload_RL on Twitter or the Salford Red Devils Foundation website here.

Offload’s set of six to get through January

A lot of people feel down in January after possibly overindulging throughout the Festive period, spending too much money and the dark mornings and nights may be getting to you. 
However, Offload, who are heavily supported by the Salford Red Devils Foundation, have put together a Set of Six to get you through January and make the month that little bit easier.

  1. Plan something fun – Get something in your diary that you are looking forward to! It doesn’t have to be expensive or crazy, but it should make you crack into a smile when you think about it! How about catching up with an old friend over a cuppa? Going to see a new film at the cinema? Getting stuck into an old hobby again? Or…making sure you have your tickets bought for the first Salford Red Devils game of the season?
  2. Sweat it out – All the Salford Red Devils players are currently grinding through their gruelling pre-season fitness regimes, but exercise can do more for us than just getting us ‘match ready’. Exercising releases the happy hormone serotonin which boosts our mood. We’re not saying you must start marathon training, just try moving a bit more and pushing your body slightly harder than you have previously!
  3. Fuel your body in the right way – Eating the right foods can be a great pick me up when you are feeling a bit low. Try eating a more balanced diet this month, with plenty of fruit, vegetables and protein. Some great seasonal veg is really cheap at the moment and can help you feel much better about yourself. Real mood boosting foods include Salmon (full of omega-3 which boosts your brain), bananas (full of good energy) and lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas which help stabilise your blood sugar to prevent mid-afternoon sugar crashes.
  4. Give something back – Giving back or doing something for someone else’s benefit automatically makes us feel better about ourselves. How about taking those left-over biscuits or mince pies down to the foodbank? Or offering to volunteer down at the Club over the next few months? You’ll be really surprised how much better it makes you feel.
  5. Spend time with your team mates – Whoever they are; friends, family, Offload mates, work colleagues, lads down the pub, old school mates – touch base with them and catch up on what you have both been up to. Having a bit of banter and spending time connecting to others can really lift your mood. Plan it in, make sure you don’t find an excuse to cancel, and enjoy yourself.
  6. Take notice of all the great things happening for you right now – There will be lots of things, we just sometimes push them to the back of our minds. Think about the good things happening for you; whether it is that you’re in a stable job, or your relationships good, or your team scored at the weekend, or your street is looking tidy, or your new neighbours are great. Whatever it is, notice it, write it down and if you’re feeling a bit down, read it through to remind you of the good things you’ve got going on right now.

For anyone looking for more information regarding Offload or their mental health campaign visit their website here or the Salford Red Devils Foundation site here.
Salford Red Devils Foundation host regular Offload sessions which are open to the public.

Salford Red Devils Foundation launching two more Offload sessions

The Salford Red Devils Foundation have two new sets of Offload sessions due to begin this week.
Brand-new sessions at Salford University will launch on Wednesday 18th October before a second round of sessions will begin at the Probation Office after a successful first 10-week block.
The Red Devils Foundation are also currently running Monday evening (7pm) sessions at the The Salford Stadium with session 7 due to take place tonight (Monday 16th) around life balance.
There are also two Princes Trust groups currently running with one being based at Walkden 6th Form College and another at Salford City Campus.
Ambassadors for  the sessions include former Red Devil Paul Highton, former Salford Coach Phil Vievers, former Rugby League player Danny Sculthorpe and former Rugby League referee Ian Smith.
Offload is a Big Lottery funded project; being run by a number of partners, led by Salford Red Devils, Warrington Wolves and Widnes Vikings with Rugby League Cares. The project content has been devised by State of Mind and supported by Oddballs.
First half has personal stories and evidence based tools to build mental fitness. The second half is interactive, club based activities.
The sessions cover a range of things such as:

  • Basic mental fitness
  • Coping strategies
  • Stess management techniques
  • Mindfulness
  • Five ways to wellbeing
  • Work-life balance
  • Anger management
  • Emotional resilience
  • Solution focused problem solving

For anyone wishing to get involved or attend the Offload session contact Salford Red Devils Season Tickets for the 2018 season are on sale – full details here.

Offload and START sessions with the Red Devils

Salford Red Devils Foundation are pleased to announce that ‘Offload’ sessions will be returning to the Red Devils and are inviting all males to contact us and come down on Monday 4th September.
The sessions run consecutively for 10 weeks between Monday 4th September and Monday 6th November at 7:30pm in the Red Devils Foundation classrooms at the The Salford Stadium.
The Offload campaign gives participants the chance to go behind the scenes at Salford Red Devils and learn about the mental fitness techniques used by professional players.
Members will then be advised on how to combat these skills in every-day life such as work-life balance, relationships and dealing with stress. Participants will also have access to free training sessions such as fitness sessions and masters.
Offload session will be run alongside START’s Inspiring Minds creative arts sessions which will start on Tuesday 31st October and help with anxiety, negative thoughts and bring about some inner peace.
People can pick from a handful of creative sessions including calligraphy, ceramics, gardening, photography, visual arts and woodturning.
Previous members of the offload sessions have felt an improved wellbeing, self-worth and confidence after attending as well as having the opportunity to interact with others, build relationships, receive help and guidance and get involved in their local community.
More details can be found at the Salford Red Devils Foundation website, click here.
If you are interested in signing up for the sessions then contact the Red Devils Foundation by E-Mailing or phoning 0161 786 1591.

Support Paul Highton on his ride to Wembley

Former Red Devil Paul Highton is cycling from Leeds to Wembley Stadium for Rugby League Cares. The cycle started at Headingley Stadium, 8am on Monday 21st, and the team of 15 riders are set to arrive at the Wembley Legends statue on the eve of the 2017 Challenge Cup final – Friday 25th August.
Highton, speaking to Rugby League cares, said: “Cycling to Rio was one of the best experiences of my life and though the ride to Wembley is shorter, it’s going to be a fantastic five days.
“We may not have to cross the Pyrenees to reach our destination but this ride isn’t about mountain ranges or distance, it’s about overcoming the challenge of negotiating a testing off-road route.
“I’m expecting it to be tough: the bike is heavier for a start; I’m a year older and the nettles and brambles along the way are really going to hurt!
“Firstly, I’d say that nothing is going to be as tough as that first day when you don’t know what to expect your body is going to react to spending eight hours and more in the saddle.
“That feeling is like nothing else,” he added.
“Secondly, it’s important to keep your head up and take in what’s around you: how many people get to experience the beautiful countryside we have in the UK at such close quarters for five days? Soak it up!
“Finally, make sure you have a laugh: yes, there will be dark moments, and days when it feels tough, but the sun always comes out again and riding as a team is a real breeze, especially when you know you’re doing it for such a worthy cause.”
‘Highto’ has made big contributions to the men’s health and wellbeing project ‘Offload’ and has worked in conjunction with club foundations at Salford Red Devils, Widnes Vikings and Warrington Wolves.
Highton said: “Some of the impact Offload has made to the people involved has been nothing short of amazing.
“No-one was quite sure at the start whether men would buy into it but it’s been a transformational experience for a lot of people.
“The bonds that have been forged between the participants are really uplifting to witness. At Warrington, one member of the team said he was worried how he’d fill the void in his life after his 12 fixtures were up and they’ve all agreed to carry on meeting to support each other.
“It’s made a profound difference to the lives of a lot of men who previously felt they had no-where else to turn.”
To sponsor Paul, please visit his Just Giving page –

Red Devils duo back mental health campaign

Salford Red Devils stars Josh Jones and George Griffin are backing a campaign that aims to encourage men to look out for their mates.
The campaign is run by Time to Change and the ‘In your Corner’ campaign highlights that you don’t need to be an expert to be there to support a friend with a mental health problem.
‘In your Corner’ has already been extremely successful receiving backing from sports stars such as footballer Clarke Carlisle, former boxers Frank Bruno and Ricky Hatton and golfer Justin Rose.
With one in four people fighting a mental health problem in any given year, Jones and Griffin are joining an elite list of sports stars calling on men to step in if their mate is acting differently.
Jones, sponsored by Oakwood Engineering, said: “My biggest challenge mentally has been with anxiety and depression.
“I’d never spoke about it and it got bigger and bigger until one day, I was probably ready to be done with rugby league.
“Luckily I had the support of those around me and got the right help.”
While Griffin, sponsored by Super Josh, added: “Sometimes the stresses and strains of the game can take its toll.
“Everyone always wants to impress and make people proud, not just others but themselves. If performances drop and people and people notice and it can be hard to get confidence back.
“But being part of a team is awesome and having people in the wings if you do need support is invaluable. The atmosphere and camaraderie amongst the boys is great.”
Sue Baker OBE is the Director of Time to Change run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and she is pleased to have the Red Devils duo on board.
Baker said: “We’re delighted that Josh and George are throwing their weight behind our In Your Corner campaign.
“Their support will help us spread the message across the rugby league community that men should be looking out for each other’s mental health as part of being a good mate.”
For more information regarding the campaign visit the Time to Change website.
Tickets are still on sale for the Red Devils return to the The Salford Stadium against Castleford on Friday night. Supporters can purchase tickets over the phone, from the club’s ticket office or online via the club’s website. Fans are reminded that season tickets are still valid for all Super 8s home fixtures.

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