Myles Anderson went along to Barnard Grove Primary School on Tuesday to deliver a talk on ‘Finding Your Brave’ and answers pupils’ questions as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.
The Pools defender agreed to take part in a special ‘Audience with…” event at the school and around 30 pupils and their parents turned up to join the discussion on mental health.
Children’s Mental Health Week is being held between 3rd and 9th February and was founded to help shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health – this year’s theme is Find Your Brave.
A number of activities have been planned as part of their awareness week at Barnard Grove, but Anderson’s after-school talk was the highlight.
“Myles has played such an important role for us with this talk,” explained the school’s Well Being Lead Hilary Harmison, who approached the Club to see if they could get involved in some way.
“It’s been an opportunity for the children to be able to talk to someone who is in a role that many of them may aspire to be in.
“Especially for some of our older boys who are perhaps in danger of taking those wrong paths, it’s all about meeting and being given the chance to talk to role models.
“For some of our boys, they can have a front but we have talked with them about strategies to give them support when they are feeling a bit vulnerable.
“I am very aware that the Club regularly champions the need to focus on mental health which is why I extended an invite to them, and anything like this that encourages our pupils to open up and interact about this important topic is really worthwhile.”
Anderson spent almost an hour talking to young people about the times when he’s had to ‘find his brave’ both on and off the pitch and answered questions from those in attendance at the event.
“It was a really good afternoon,” he told us afterwards.
“I was a bit apprehensive and anxious so I certainly had to ‘find my brave’ to go along but hopefully I have helped some of the young guys find theirs in some way as well.
“It was all about trying to help the children find their brave and, in football terms for me, that means getting stuck in and getting back up if you get knocked down.
“But on the other side, being brave is about being able to say ‘okay, I might need help here’ and then being able to speak to your parents, your friends, your teachers and know that it’s fine to do that.
“I am really hoping that some of the guys feel encouraged to be able to do that moving forward.”