Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) will receive an extra three years of funding from Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust for two key mental health programmes.
Run in partnership with Oxleas, the Up & At ‘Em project for over 65s with a mental health diagnosis was piloted in 2017. It is designed to reduce social isolation and enhance participants’ physical health and mental wellbeing through activities within the community.
On Saturday 14 September, Oxleas CEO Matthew Trainer was in attendance as a group of Up & At ‘Em participants were invited pitchside at Charlton Athletic’s game against Birmingham City to be presented with a cheque from Oxleas confirming the additional funding.
Up & At ‘Em won a national accolade in July, winning the Community/Primary Mental Health Services for Older People with Functional Mental Health Issues award at the Positive Practice Older People’s Mental Health & Dementia Awards.
Previously, Up & At ‘Em was Highly Commended at the awards in both 2017 and 2018.
Tony and Angie Russell from Positive Practice were also pitchside, presenting participants with the award.
The Early Intervention in Psychosis programme will also receive a proportion of the new funding.
Matthew Trainer said:
“CACT do a brilliant job within our community. You often find those aged 65+ can be overlooked, coupled with the loneliness that many older people experience, this creates a real downward spiral.
The work that we do with CACT makes a big difference to the lives of many older people who might otherwise feel very isolated. I'm really pleased to be able to support Up & At 'Em to continue."
Carl Krauhaus, CACT’s Head of Early Help & Prevention, said:
“CACT’s Early Help and Prevention strand working in partnership with Oxleas NHS has always been so positive and this funding means we'll be able to continue to deliver weekly activities for older people to help them with confidence and self-esteem, reduce isolation and open up further opportunities.”
John, who is an Up & At 'Em participant and has been coming to the Valley since the 1940s, was also at the presentation. After the match, he said: "I love it, I feel so much better after I've been along each week, it really lifts me and I can't thank these people enough!"