The North East non-league football scene is getting behind an award-winning campaign to promote suicide prevention and intervention.
Chester-le-Street-based If U Care Share Foundation are putting the final touches to their annual ‘Inside Out’ campaign, run inline with World Suicide Prevention Day which was on Monday 10th September.
‘Inside Out’ is a visual social media campaign where people are asked to wear an item of clothing inside out, to provoke conversation about talking about any issues they have.
This year’s campaign has received the backing of the region’s non-league clubs, with Pools joining the likes of Gateshead, Blyth Spartans, Darlington, South Shields and a whole host of Northern League, Northern Alliance and Wearside League clubs who have committed to taking part.
Local county football associations the Durham FA and Northumberland FA have also thrown their support behind the campaign.
Over the next week clubs around the region will promote Inside Out by wearing ‘If U Care Share Foundation’ t-shirts baring the slogan ‘I’m getting what’s on the Inside Out’.
The images of players, managers and coaches wearing the t-shirts will be used on social media using the #InsideOut and #AskMeWhy hashtags.
Pools supporters will be able to get involved by sharing their photos at the Club’s home game against Eastleigh on Saturday 15th September, our World Suicide Prevention Day.
If U Care Share Foundation was co-founded by former Pools Academy player Matthew Smith in 2005 after his brother Daniel took his own life at the age of 19.
“As a family, football has played a huge part in our lives and brings back fond memories spent with Daniel,” explained Matthew.
“I have played in the Northern League for the past 6 or 7 years, football is my medicine and has been part of my grieving process.
“Over the past few years using the assistance of local non-league football writer Mark Carruthers we have received support from clubs within the North East on the match day closest to the 10th September – whether it be players wearing their shirts inside out while warming up, a team photo with kit inside out or even an individual player.
“Any support or images that could be posted to social media have the ability to start conversations; previous support has helped us achieve a social media reach of well over 1,000,000 people.”
If U Care Share Foundation ambassador and local non-league football writer Mark Carruthers was delighted to see the region’s clubs get behind the campaign.
“Inside Out is how I initially got involved with If U Care Share,” he commented.
“It is a simple, straight-to-the-point campaign but one that gets the message across quickly.
“Football has a great way of making people talk and I am so happy that the North East’s non-league clubs have got behind this year’s Inside Out campaign.
“We want to make this the biggest year yet and with their support I am sure the campaign will be a huge success.”