Active Minds: Empowering Mental Well-being Through Sport

Blackpool FC Community Trust is thrilled to announce a new initiative, ‘Active Minds’. Active Minds will address the growing demand for mental well-being outlets and support. There is often a stigma associated with mental health, so Active Minds intends to combat that and promote positive well-being through the power of sport.

Weekly sessions are more than just showing up for an hour and then heading back home. We aim to develop Active Minds to positively impact the lives of local people, creating a sense of belonging, encouraging new friendships, and improving physical and mental well-being. We want our participants to be part of something bigger, experiencing togetherness and self-achievement.

Active Minds will utilise various facilities across the town to provide accessible and cost-appropriate football sessions for the wider community. Anyone aged 18+ can get involved, regardless of whether they have ever kicked a ball before. Everybody is welcome.

A typical structured session will run for two hours and will consist of participating in some activity and socialising. It’s more than just football; it’s about being able to switch off for a few hours a day, away from the stresses of everyday life.

The first phase of six sessions a week will launch on Monday 1st July 2024, with a further phase at the start of September introducing additional locations and activities.

Ashley Hackett, Chief Executive Officer at Blackpool FC Community Trust, said,

“This is an area of work that has been needed for some time and I am excited to see how it develops. Football and sport can bring so many benefits, and often it is just about taking those first steps.

“The community will have their say throughout the development of ‘Active Minds’ as community voice brings great value to a programme. We are very excited to be on this journey with the support of Blackpool FC and Blackpool Council, to ensure the provision is appropriate for our community, with all sessions being at a fair price or free of charge.”

Shane Connolly, Active Minds Team Leader at Blackpool FC Community Trust, said,

 “To be involved in this exciting new programme is a very proud moment for me. Having worked within football and the community for several years bettering people’s lives through sport, activity, and peer support groups, I look forward to a new chapter and challenge.

“The aim is to improve the Blackpool community as a whole. Initially through football whilst enhancing the physical and mental wellness of those players. We have big ideas and plans, and with feedback from the community, we can’t wait to see what it can grow into. We hope to change the stigma and improve the statistics around mental health across the town. And if we manage to change even one life, it is worth it.”

For more information or to get involved, please email

Sessions commencing  1st July:


Aspire Sports Hub – Women 6pm-7pm – £2.50

Stanley Park – Men 7pm-8pm – £2.50

Get Vocal at Bloomfield Road Stadium – Men 6pm-8pm – Free


Aspire Sports Hub – Men 8pm-9pm  – £2.50

Aspire Sports Hub – Women 7pm-8pm – £2.50


Stanley Park – Men 7pm-8pm – £2.50

Stanley Park – Women 8pm-9pm – £2.50

Each session will have a peer support group before and after each session, more information to follow.