Offload Celebrates Anniversary

Offload Celebrates Anniversary widnesvikings.co.uk
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15th June 2018

Last month, the Offload Programme, proudly supported by the Widnes Vikings, celebrated its one-year anniversary.

The acclaimed programme sees players, coaches and referees, past and present, work with people from across the Halton area to improve their mental wellbeing.

Offload went on the road to a local business for the first time recently, travelling to Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in Cuerdley to deliver a session, led by former Super League match official, Ian Smith.

Sean Mellor, Offload Programme Co-Ordinator for the Vikings, believes the programme's success involves making people feel comfortable and fully engaged with the sessions. 

“I think it’s vital [that people feel comfortable]. To be fair, walking through a door with a load of people who might be strangers and you’ve never really spoken to about serious issues and how you’re feeling takes a lot of courage.

“Anything we can do to make that journey more comfortable, like feeling at ease with your surroundings, maybe having a tea or coffee and being greeted with a smile, we will offer.”

Anyone who is unsure about attend the Offload sessions are urged to get involved; the programme has been described as ‘life changing’ by past attendees.

A knowledge of rugby league isn’t needed for the programme and, as Sean explains, the sessions are delivered in a fun and interactive manner.

“Humour forms a big part of it; it isn’t delivered in an undertaker-style,” he says. “There are a few jokes and a few laughs, just to make people feel at ease.

“But, the people who come to us from State of Mind and deliver the sessions are very aware, because of where they’ve been. They’ve all been in dark places, and deep down, they know it is a very serious issue.

“We have our regular Tuesday night session which we call an ‘open session’; people come from all over and walk into the stadium and straight into the classroom.

“We want to get as many people as possible talking so we would urge people to come down and see for themselves how big of an impact the Offload programme could have.”

Offload is being delivered in partnership with the independent charity Rugby League Cares. For more information call 0151 495 2250 (option 4) or email seanm@widnesvikings.co.uk

Offload Celebrates Anniversary widnesvikings.co.uk