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Time To Talk

Last Tuesday, Cambridge United Community Trust welcomed over 40 people to The Abbey Stadium for our first Mental Health Awareness Evening. The evening begin with an introduction to Cambridge United Community Trust followed by our three guest speakers sharing information from their organisations and experiences, discussing the importance of talking for our mental health.

Ruth Fox, Cambridge United Women’s player discussed her mental health story to begin the evening, followed by John Humpston sharing the work of The Cambridge Samaritans, finishing with Rob Earl representing CPSL Mind and Stop Suicide Cambridge, sharing about their work and his experiences.

Between speakers we also heard from a number of local services and organisations including YMCA Trinity, The Ollie Foundation, Richmond Fellowship, Psychological Wellbeing Service and Lifecraft. The evening finished with a Q + A with the main speakers with a brilliant opportunity to hear more directly from the audience and different individuals involved.

We look forward to our next Mental Health Awareness Evening on April the 10th between 6.30pm – 8pm surrounding the theme ‘Sport as a tool for wellbeing’. Please sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cambridge-united-mental-health-awareness-sport-as-a-tool-for-wellbeing-tickets-44018668021?aff=erelexpmlt

Cambridge United Sleepout

Last Friday, Over 50 supporters of Cambridge United, global campaigning charity Street Child United and homelessness charity Jimmy’s Cambridge took to the stands of The Abbey Stadium to raise an incredible £20,000 towards the future work of both organisations.

The evening consisted of talks by Cambridge United Community Trust, Jimmy’s and Street Child United representatives, followed by a quiz before the group headed to the stands for the night. All the money raised through the Sleepout will be divided between Street Child United and projects at Jimmy’s Cambridge delivered in partnership with the Cambridge United Community Trust.

Ben Szreter, CEO of Cambridge United Community Trust said, “It was fantastic to be able to raise so much money for some brilliant charities and to get a brief glimpse into what street-connected people in Cambridge and across the world face every day. It was a special evening with the community coming together on a freezing Friday night to sleep in the Abbey stadium and one that will live long in mine and everyone else attending’s memory.”

John Wroe, CEO of Street Child United said, “The Cambridge United Street Child United Sleep out was a huge success. We do this to show solidarity with homeless people in Cambridge and across the world who don’t have a choice about where they sleep. We do this one night a year- sadly many people sleep out every night.

It was special doing this at the Abbey Stadium - in a football ground. Our football grounds are a significant places to us- places of meaning where we invest a huge amount of hope where we shout and scream and sing, places where we have memories that no one can ever take away- places where we’ve had a dreams broken. And now we have a new memory – our own personal piece of history at the Abbey. My daughter and I slept on cardboard pitch side in the Away Managers dug out – I’ll always look across from the Habbin and know that we spent 10 hours, not sleeping, in that dug out at minus 4.

From a SCU perspective it was amazing to share our stories with members of the Cambridge United family – we were made to feel really welcome by everyone and the generosity of our communities in supporting us all was staggering. We are holding a World Cup for 216 street connected children in Red Square Moscow in May – young people who initially don’t have birth certificates, lets alone passports or visa’s- it’s a tall order but one that gets easier knowing that the whole world is on our side. I got the impression that everyone who was sleeping out on Friday night was with us. We were not alone, Cambridge United, Community Trust, Club, fans and players were on the journey with us and that means a great deal to me.”

Sandra Stevenson, Jimmy’s Cambridge volunteer who took part in the sleepout said, “It was a very realistic challenge of sleeping in the stadium in extreme temperatures to raise money and awareness for the work of Jimmy’s do across Cambridge. I was delighted to be involved to support the two great charities.”

Cambridge United Community Trust Launch Sugar Smart Challenge

Jamie Oliver's SUGAR SMART campaign launched at Cambridge United’s home game against Grimsby this month to raise awareness of the dangers of too much sugar.

On Saturday 17th February, Cambridge United launched SUGAR SMART Cambridge at the Abbey Stadium. Cambridge United Community Trust joined forces with Cambridge Sustainable Food to launch the campaign. As well as sharing information about SUGAR SMART, there were half time antics on the pitch, free fruit for supporters donated by Tesco, and a competition to win a signed shirt.

SUGAR SMART Cambridge aims to raise awareness of the dangers of excess sugar consumption, and support local organisations to make changes for the good of the Cambridge community.

Jamie Oliver said:“It’s a pleasure to have the city of Cambridge join the national network of SUGAR SMART campaigns. They’ll be joining us in raising awareness about the long-term damage too much sugar can have on our health, and empowering us all to reduce it in our diets. We're facing a growing obesity crisis where one in three children are leaving primary school either overweight or obese, seriously increasing their chances of developing diet-related diseases, like type-2 diabetes, earlier in adult life. Eating nutritious food and getting regular exercise will help us all lead healthier and happier lives.”

Simon Wall, Cambridge United Community Trust, said: "We’re really pleased to be launching SUGAR SMART at Cambridge United. We’re asking U’s fans to challenge themselves to go SUGAR SMART and reduce their sugar consumption in 2018. I’m doing the challenge as well as some familiar faces at the club. There’s a signed shirt up for grab for fans who join in through our competition. It could be something simple like swapping fizzy drinks for water, or cutting out sugar in your hot drinks. Let us know what you’re doing with the tag #SUGARSMARTCambridge.”

Cambridge Sustainable Food, the organisation responsible for bringing the campaign to Cambridge, is encouraging local businesses, organisations and schools to get involved as well as individuals. Anyone can join the movement to reduce sugar and its effects on ill health at www.sugarsmartuk.org/get_involved/.

Cambridge United announces Mental Health Awareness evening

On Tuesday 13th March at 6.30pm, Cambridge United through Cambridge United Community Trust will be hosting the first of three discussion evenings taking place monthly to raise awareness of mental health and emotional wellbeing and their connection to sport.

On the first evening surrounding the theme ‘It’s time to talk’, The Abbey Stadium will welcome guest speakers John Humpston, East Region Director of Samaritans and Ruth Fox, Cambridge United Women’s player to discuss the importance of speaking out and how important this is for maintaining positive mental health. There will also be a panel discussion, a Q&A and a chance to hear from other organisations working in the field.

Cambridge United welcomes all to attend this free event to discuss a topic which affects so many.

Sign up on Eventbrite here www.tinyurl.com/CUmentalhealthevening

Legge and Amoo join participants in Cambridge United disability football sessions

On Saturday 27th January, Cambridge United stars Leon Legge and David Amoo joined in with some of Cambridge United’s disability football sessions which run on a Saturday morning.

Ambulant cerebral palsy sessions, which take place weekly at Impington Village College from 10am-11am, are generously sponsored by Irwin Mitchell and coached by Phil Mullen. The sessions consist of relaxed football matches, in which, this week, the participants were joined by Legge and Amoo.

These sessions were followed by Cambridge United’s Down’s syndrome football sessions from 11am-12pm in which both players also took part.

Phil Mullen who coaches the session said “It was absolutely brilliant, the players were great with our participants and got involved with our football matches. It was amazing to see so many happy faces today and such a good atmosphere at both the sessions.”

Cambridge United central defender, Leon Legge, describes what he thought of the morning “It was brilliant to be able to see some of the club’s work in the local community and meet some of the participants who attend the sessions every week. We look forward to visiting again in the future!”

Guy Forster from Irwin Mitchell, proud sponsors of the Ambulant cerebral palsy sessions, said: “we are delighted to be supporting these weekly sessions, which provide such a brilliant opportunity for so many individuals. It is great to have the first team players involved to make the event even more special for the participants.”