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Former Saints legend offers support to Southfield Saints

Dave Merrington and Southfield Saints
Pictures courtesy of The Southern Daily Echo

The former Southampton Football Club manager Dave Merrington is offering his wisdom and advice to a team which aims to support people with mental illness and challenge the stigma attached to the illness.

Southfield Saints was set up in November 2010 by a member of staff at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. The idea was to help people who have experience mental health issues join in team sports and keep fit, as well as tackling some of the negative images associated with mental illness.

Dave Merrington is meeting the team at AFC Totton on Monday 27 February to offer his encouragement to the side which has developed over the last year to include NHS staff, people from the local community and people cared for by the Trust.

Dave Merrington said: “It’s a great team and a great idea. If I can offer any advice or support to the players I will. Mental illness is an issue that affects so many people and this team is about creating a level playing field, when you’re on the pitch you don’t think about if someone’s had a mental illness you just see the player.”

Paul Willis who helped start the team said: “This is a real privilege to have someone of Dave’s standing come to meet us and talk to us all. I’m really grateful to him for his backing of the Southfield Saints. The team really makes a difference to people’s lives.”

Southfield Saints are supported by the Saints Foundation who provide coaching and advice, and by AFC Totton who lend their ground to the team.

Dave Merrington will meet the Southfield Saints at AFC Totton’s ground at 6.30pm.

February 24 2012 

Tackling stigma through sport

See more examples of how we are working to tackle mental health stigma through sport. 
Dave Merrington meets Southfield Saints
Pictures courtesy of The Southern Daily Echo