Rovers Reconnect Programme

May 11, 2023
Tyrhys Dolan paid a special visit to local high school St Wilfrid’s C of E Academy as part of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust’s Premier League Inspires programme – aimed at young people between the ages of 11-25.

(Shared from: rovers.co.uk)

Young people face a variety of ever-evolving challenges, with more than ever experiencing mental health issues.

As part of the Premier League Inspires programme, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust have launched a new project within Inspires, called Rovers Reconnect.

The aim of Rovers Reconnect is to offer well-being support for secondary school children who have experienced bereavement and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are the first charity within a football club to offer this level of support.

Rovers Reconnect offers students the opportunity to speak openly about their feelings in a safe and private environment through group and one-to-one well-being sessions.

Recently, a group of students from St Wilfrid’s sadly lost one of their friends. Blackburn Rovers striker Dolan has suffered a similar experience losing a close friend unexpectedly, and he was on hand to offer support to the young people.

Martyn Robinson, Pupil Wellbeing Officer at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, said: “Tyrhys' visit to school has had an extremely positive impact the students. Being able to hear from someone that they see as a role model representing their football club is something they won't forget.

“For Tyrhys to also share his grief journey following the loss of a close friend and how he has used this to motivate himself and drive forward really makes the time he spent in school invaluable.”

Dolan added “I spoke in depth with the boys about my experiences, and they’ve also shared back with me, which was good!

“Premier League Inspires is very good programme as I didn’t get to do this type of topic in school, but it’s important what the boys are doing and being open about their feelings.

“They are a bunch of strong boys who are positive, and it was nice to share my experiences with them, and hopefully they can take something out of it.

“They seem like such a tight-knit group but when they’re away from everyone, there could be some struggles, but hopefully they have taken a bit away from our discussion to help them moving forwards.

“It was good to hear their feedback and I’ve also taken something out of this as much as they have done.

“I think that having someone who has walked that same path and shared the same experiences as you, you can take that and think ‘he’s got to where he is now with all the hardship in his life, and so can we as well’.

“It was touching to meet the students and how much they were looking forward to talking to me. It was a great experience, and I am grateful.”

Miss Paradise from St Wilfrid’s C of E Academy added: “Boys can often find it hard to talk openly about their emotions and the work that Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and Tyrhys have done for our Year 9 boys, following the sudden death of one of their friends, has been incredible.

“We really appreciate Tyrhys coming into our Academy. As a role model for young men locally, he has shared his time and experience with our pupils giving them hope that they too can get through challenging times. Thank you, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, and thank you Tyrhys for your invaluable support to our pupils.”

To find out more about Rovers Reconnect and the Premier League Inspires programme, please email Martyn.Robinson@brfctrust.co.uk for further details.

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