R;pple and West Ham United Foundation partner to raise mental health awareness through football


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R;pple, the suicide prevention charity, and West Ham United Foundation are teaming up – supported by Shawbrook Bank and West Ham United Football Club – to host its first-ever Five-A-Side Football Tournament to use the power of sport to raise awareness of the mental health challenges people face.

The event, which is taking place on 22nd June, will offer teams an unparalleled opportunity to play on the same grounds as past and future footballing legends, including football pundit and exEngland and West Ham United player Matt Jarvis.

Jarvis is personally and professionally passionate about playing a role in raising awareness for an important cause, advocating for a more open conversation around mental health and suicide prevention.

This unforgettable event will bring together 20 teams — 16 men’s and 4 women’s — playing in a friendly yet competitive environment in support of R;pple Suicide Prevention and the West Ham United Foundation, with all funds raised supporting their work.

Alice Hendy, Founder and CEO of R;pple, who was recently awarded an MBE for her services to online safety, started the charity after losing her brother to suicide in November 2020.

On the tournament, Alice Hendy said:

“This is more than just a football tournament – it is a gathering of like-minded individuals, organisations, and sponsors who are passionate about making a difference in mental health. It is a celebration of the power of sport to bring people together and drive positive change. It is a reminder that, through our collective efforts, we have the ability to create a brighter future for those in need.”

R;pple is available to download as a browser extension on desktops or laptops.

Once installed, if a user searches harmful content online, they will first be guided through a filter of breathing exercises and then provided with a list of helplines, and mental health services that they can access and use immediately and in the longer term, accompanied with messages of hope and encouragement to help keep the person safe.

The tool is free for individuals, parents, the education sector and charities; while businesses and public-sector organisations can get a subscription package supporting the future development and adoption of the tool.

Meanwhile, the Hammers’ official charity, West Ham United Foundation, reaches over 50,000 people annually, tackling inequalities and providing tailored support for individuals, groups and communities across Essex, East London and international areas.

With health and wellbeingesta blished as a key focus, and tools to support positive mental health integrated, the Foundation are helping others to maximise their life opportunities and reach their full potential.

Joseph Lyons, the West Ham United Foundation’s CEO, said:

“Our work at the Foundation centres around prevention, intervention and partnership – providing activities that support positive pathways, services, and connections.

It’s crucial that everybody has the tools to be able to assist positive mental health for themselves and others, they are aware that they aren’t alone, and help is available if they need it.

By coming together for this charity football tournament, it’s not only a chance to raise vital funds and encourage people to talk and seek help, but it’s an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of meaningful solutions to improve mental health.”