The Pars Foundation Programmes

Project details

The Pars Foundation
Mental Health and Health & Well-being

The Pars Foundation Programmes

Established in 2013, The Pars Foundation is an independent charity which uses the power of sport and the name of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club to drive positive change within their communities. They deliver an increasingly diverse range of projects and initiatives across sport (football in particular), health, inclusion, education, and employment and work hard to create new opportunities and breakdown barriers to participation.

Walk and Talk – Walking and Talking Down Halbeath Road

Walking and Talking Down Halbeath Road is a walking group aiming at improving mental health through socialisation and staying active. It is a joint venture between Dunfermline Athletic and The Pars Foundation, which is led by Eddie Martin, the Pars Foundation’s Health and Wellbeing Officer.

During the pandemic, it is fair to say that everyone`s mental health has been affected by this. The aim of this group is to break the cycle of people feeling lonely and isolated. Gentle exercise can improve your mental health, and using the outdoors and green spaces. When we connect with nature it brings calm, joy and wonder to our daily lives. Walking can improve mood and sleep quality, reduce stress and anxiety.

Keep Kicking On Project

Keep Kicking On, which is a sports-based suicide prevention intervention supporting young men aged 16-25 with mental health issues in Dunfermline. We established the project as a result of the alarming increase in the levels of suicide amongst men in our community and to tackle the negative stigma and barriers that some men face with regard to seeking help for their mental health.

Participants have the opportunity to participate in weekly 5-a-side football with their peers as well as benefit from various workshops and social activities. Poor mental health is a big problem in our community and significant mental health inequalities exist in Dunfermline. Mental health problems are not equally distributed across the population and socially disadvantaged people have an increased risk of developing mental health issues.

In Dunfermline, 18% of people have prescribed medication for anxiety, depression or psychosis last year and levels of drug and alcohol-related hospital admissions are rapidly increasing. 15% of our population live in areas classified as being within the 10% most deprived nationally.

The project brings together young men who share the same interest in sport and have similar struggles and helps improve their mental health and well-being, empowers them to build positive relationships and support networks and to grow and improve together, whilst also providing participants with a range of effective coping strategies to deal with stress, anxiety and setbacks and an improved ability to spot warning signs amongst themselves and peers.