Croydon Eagles Flying high again!

Mind in Croydon’s football team, the Croydon Eagles regain The National Football Therapy Cup in superb tournament football performance.

Over 100 young adults from clubs across England and Wales contested the 4th Lewes FC National Football Therapy Cup at The Dripping Pan yesterday, with the Croydon Eagles avenging their narrow defeat by Everton in the final last season to win the coveted trophy for the second time in three years.

The full article can be read here.

Men’s Swimming Volunteer

As part of our Get Set to Go programme, Mind in Croydon are looking for a male swimming volunteer to support individuals who have experienced mental health problems in group swimming sessions for males. (Please note: this is not for swimming lessons).

Sessions will take place once a week for around an hour on a weekly basis at a leisure centre in Croydon. This will involve supporting small groups to take part in the activity to enhance their overall wellbeing. Please note: The service, and therefore the role is only available during office hours (9-5, Monday to Friday).

We are looking for individuals who are local to Croydon and have a good understanding of mental health and are:

  • Confident swimmers
  • Reliable
  • Empathetic
  • Understand the importance of Confidentiality and Professional Boundaries

You’ll need to be able to establish good relationships with people from different backgrounds and have an understanding of how physical exercise can improve mental and physical wellbeing.

We look forward to receiving your application form.

To apply please return the application form to: Active Minds, Orchard House. 15a Purley Road, South Croydon, Surrey, CR2 6EZ or email to

For more information contact 020 8253 8205

Palace Fans raise funds for Mind in Croydon

Crystal Palace Football Club (CPFC) Foundation are delighted to announce that all of the money has been collected from the Foundation’s 83 mile bike ride with Saints fans to Southampton which coincided with the last game of the season at St Mary’s. The money was shared equally between Mind in Croydon, which was one of the Mayor of Croydon’s chosen charities for the year, and to help purchase a new Powerchair for the Foundation’s growing disability football team.

In total, £5,771 was raised for the two good causes.

The donation to Mind in Croydon is to support the incredible work they do locally in relieving social isolation, enabling people to acquire skills for independent life and promoting positive mental health. Croydon Mayor at the time, Councillor Patricia Hay Justice, who to took the time out of her busy schedule to cheer the 18 riders along and watch the game said, “I’m really very grateful to all of the riders representing Crystal Palace who made such a big effort on the day and to those who donated so generously”.

Richard Pacitti, Chief Executive of Mind in Croydon said, “We are very grateful to everyone at CPFC Foundation for their tremendous efforts and the very generous donation. We have been working closely with the Foundation for a number of years now and the support that they give to our football team, the Croydon Eagles, has been superb”.

Elder Statesman, Stephen Way, who at 58 was the oldest but actually one of the fastest of the riders added, “It was really hard, but we all made it. The icing on the cake was the fantastic reception we received from the Saints fans when we were asked to give a lap of honour at half time”. The strong hope from Foundation’s Head, Donald Forde who also took part in in the fundraiser, is to organise the Bike Challenge and other fundraising events on an even bigger scale next season.

Five Week Golf Course

Active Minds are running a 5 week golf course starting on the 22nd February 2016.

This course is suitable for complete beginners. It will teach you to develop the skills to play golf through a range of fun games and team competitions.

On the final week we will take a trip to the driving range.

All equipment provided and the course is FREE!

Text your name to 07858 361857 to book your place!

For more information contact Active Minds on:

Tel: 020 8253 8205/6 

Walking Basketball starting end of January

Active Minds are starting a new course of Walking Basketball at the end of January! It’s just the same as normal basketball but you have to walk rather than run – the idea is that it makes the game more inclusive because you don’t have to be mega-fit or fast to participate.

All abilities and all fitness levels are welcome! And you pay week by week, so ideal if you just want to give it a try.

Places are limited.

To book your places or for more information contact:

Tel: 020 8253 8205 

Croydon Eagles Victory in Brighton

The Croydon Eagles have just completed a brilliant Victory at Brighton’s mental health tournament. The competition took place to celebrate World Mental Health Day and featured teams from all over the South of England.

The games were played in a competitive but very enjoyable way. The participating teams included sides from Brighton, Arsenal, Charlton, Portsmouth, and of course the Eagles team and all played throughout the tournament in the right spirit.

The whole day was a fitting way to celebrate World Mental Health day and hopefully helped to spread awareness of mental health issues. With the news of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge publicising the day, I would say the word is definitely getting out there.

Back to the football and The Eagles started off by wining their group with three wins out of three. We then progressed to the cup group stage where we played two tough games against Newhaven and Brighton’s B-team. We won both games 2-0 and 1-0, respectively.

We had made the semi final where we faced Victory Hants of Portsmouth. We had had some tough encounters with them in the past so we were pretty surprised at the comprehensive win. We scored 5 with no reply to reach the final where we would play Brighton’s A team, Crystal Palace and Brighton’s rivalry would add a little spice to the final. Thankfully the game was played in the right spirit and The Eagles would go on to sneak the final with a Dan Butler extra time winner to break Seagull hearts. The Brighton boys took it well though and there were all smiles at the end. Dan finished the day as top scorer with 7 goals.

The victory capped a brilliant day run by our hosts and friends Albion in the Community. Mental health football is really taking off with the leagues and tournaments taking place all over the country. The benefits of this to those who have been through mental health illness are massive and this can only be a good thing for us all.

So to conclude we would like to thank James Creegan and Jel Clifford for coaching us and to all the players who gave a massive effort to lift the cup for The Croydon Eagles. We would also like to thank Peter Rogers who couldn’t make it on the day but who works for Mind in Croydon and always makes sure everything runs smoothly for the team, and to Marlon Hobbs who on the day played for Brighton and helped them all the way to the final. This was due to a limit on the number of players per team and for all who know him Marlon is never less than enthusiastic. He nearly scored against us in the final which would have made for an interesting trip home. But we are sure he was pleased with his loser’s medal. Well done Marlon (I meant runners up medal Ha ha!)

Croydon Eagles are Mind in Croydon and CPFC’s Foundations’ Mental health Football team.

By Tim Matthias (Eagles defender (veteran))

Make Ours A Treble

The Croydon Eagles are the Mind in Croydon and CPFC Foundation mental health football team. We’ve just completed our most successful season to date that ended with three trophies as well as hosting our first tournament.

croydon eagles small

The season began with a trip to Walton-on-Thames to compete in our first competition in the Surrey League we joined this year. Things couldn’t have started better in the Surrey Era for us as we put in a battling performance on the way to lifting the Surrey FA Community Cup. A brilliant achievement by all the squad with Jel Clifford bagging the winning goal in the final to win it for us.

We had set our stall out and let the rest of the Surrey League know we had arrived. This was our debut season and we were made extremely welcome, there was a really friendly atmosphere on the day and we were roundly applauded for our win – a gesture we really appreciated. Palace even arranged a victory parade with our trophy at Selhurst Park during the Leicester City Premier League match.

We then began our league campaign; all the guys were looking forward to seeing what the league had in store for us. We started strongly beating the reigning champions Kingston and things just got better as we surged onwards. After winning our first five matches everyone was beginning to feel optimistic about our chances of actually winning the league at the first attempt. That optimism proved well founded as we went on to win all our games and make it a league and cup double. For our player coach Paul Richards this was his first season in the role and you would have to say a near perfect start. Paul also ended up as top scorer and Players Player of the Season while Will Castle was voted Most Improved Player to go alongside his award from Surrey FA for most sporting member of the league. We would like to say a massive thanks to all at the Surrey League for making us so welcome.

We ended our brilliant season with perhaps our best achievement yet. For the second year we travelled down to the National Mental Health Football Therapy Tournament in Lewes with high hopes. All our team contributed to a monumental effort and despite losing our first game to Everton we then went unbeaten for the rest of the tournament coming up against Everton once again in the final who this time we beat 1-0 to lift the trophy, Tony Thompson netting the winner. The whole team raised their game and played brilliantly. Everton were billed as pre-tournament favourites as one of the best mental health teams in the country which tells its own story.

We also hosted our first tournament at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre which was a great success with The Croydon Eagles losing finalists to Brixton.

We couldn’t be too downhearted though; this season has been an amazing journey for all of the squad. It has lifted everyone’s spirits; all of us have seen pretty tough times, experiencing varying mental health issues but the Croydon Eagles and all of the Active Minds activities help massively to improve mental wellbeing.

The football programme is a massive success so well done guys one and all and here’s to defending our titles next season.

With special thanks to Peter Rogers (Mind in Croydon), Michael Harrington (CPFC Foundation), Paul Richards, James Creegan and everyone who’s played for or supported us; played against us; reffed us or organised anything.

If you’d like to join us please contact Peter at Active Minds 
t: 020 8253 8206 

by Tim Matthias

Note: Tim received the Croydon Eagles Managers award this season for his long service and dedication to the Eagles cause.

This write up has also been featured on the Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation website at:

People with mental health problems put off sport because they are not ‘gym body ready’

New research, released today by Mind[1], shows that four fifths (80 per cent) of people with mental health problems who do not take part in sport, are put off because they feel self-conscious about their bodies. Nearly 70 per cent of people told Mind that they feel their mental health makes taking part too difficult. The findings come as Mind launches Get Set to Go, a new programme to support 75,000 people with mental health problems to take up sport.

Mind’s poll, of 660 people, found that four fifths of people don’t feel confident in their sporting ability. Get Set to Go, supported by Sport England and the National Lottery, will help people with mental health problems become more active through sports projects at eight local Minds. People taking part will receive one-to-one support from others with shared experiences, who understand the additional challenges a mental health problem presents to those who want to get active.

Of those who do take part in sport, more than one in five say it is because their GP or another health professional had recommended it, while more than ninety per cent participate because it is good for their mental wellbeing.

Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of people with mental health problems say they enjoy taking part in sport, or exercising, however around nearly two thirds (64 per cent) are worried about taking part in sport by themselves.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, says: “Our research shows that people with mental health problems do want to participate in sport, however feelings of low self-confidence, exhaustion or fear of crowded spaces are preventing them from getting started.

“We want more people with mental health problems to be able to enjoy exercising and Get Set to Go will help people to better look after their physical and mental health through sport. Our online community, Elefriends, is also a great place to find support and advice from others with mental health problems who use sport and exercise to stay well.”

Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Executive Director Community Sport, said

“The research released by Mind mirrors our own which shows that concerns over body confidence, ability and the fear of judgement hold people back from doing sport and exercise. Our own campaign This Girl Can seeks to liberate people from these issues so they can get healthier and more active.

“This is why Sport England has committed National Lottery funding to this exciting programme, Get Set to Go. Mind really understands the people it serves – and how to help them – which makes them an ideal partner. Sport has the power to improve the lives of people with a mental health problem and we’re confident that this programme will really benefit people who take part in it.”

Mind’s research also revealed a perception amongst respondents that you need to look a certain way to participate. Over half (55 per cent) of people told the charity they are not ‘gym body ready’, saying they are not members of sports clubs, gyms or leisure centres, because they are embarrassed about their body shape or size.

Statistics also showed that:

  • Sixty two per cent wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health with other members.
  • Fifty seven per cent of those who are not members say it’s because they would feel uncomfortable talking about their mental health with a coach or instructor
  • A third of respondents with memberships to sports clubs, gyms and leisure centres concede they would not want anybody to know about their mental health problem.

Twenty-three year old Claire Greaves dances to manage her anxiety, and says:

“I used to shut myself away not spending time with anyone or doing anything but I knew that I enjoyed being active. I remember worrying about walking into a new dance class and fearing people would stare at me or I wouldn’t be able to find where I was going. My mind threw a hundred excuses as to why I could not go. I wouldn’t be good… I would make a fool out of myself… I found that when I actually did it, it was absolutely fine!

“I felt a bit uncomfortable walking in to my dance class but it’s okay to feel uncomfortable. Everyone gave me a warm welcome and once we started dancing my focus was purely on that; I managed to tell myself that everyone was focusing on themselves too.”

Get Set to Go is now running in eight areas in England*.

Richard Pacitti, CEO of Mind in Croydon, said:

Mind in Croydon are really pleased to be part of Get Set to Go. We believe that being active is a really important element of good mental health, we also know that a lot of the people that we work with need extra help and support in order that they can take part in sporting activities. A scheme that recognises this is very welcome.

Mind has also published new information about how to get started with physical activity and how sport can improve physical and mental health. For more information, visit or visit Mind’s social network Elefriends,

[1] Mind conducted a Survey Monkey poll of 660 people (488 of whom have mental health problems) between 11 May and 06 July 2015.

  • Get Set to Go, Mind’s new programme backed by Sport England and the National Lottery, aims to support people experiencing mental health problems – such as depression and anxiety – to join mainstream sports clubs, go to the gym or take up a new sport.
  • The programme is running at Brent Mind, Croydon Mind, Dudley Mind, Herefordshire Mind, Rochdale and District Mind, Lancashire Mind, Middlesbrough & Stockton Mind and Tyneside Mind.
  • To find out more visit