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Be A Game Changer campaign earns Royal Society for Public Health award

Newcastle United Foundation’s Be A Game Changer mental health campaign has earned the prestigious Public Health & Wellbeing Award from the Royal Society for Public Health.

The initiative created by the charitable arm of Newcastle United were named category winners at the Royal Society for Public Health Awards 2021, recognising activity across the UK that empowers communities, improves the population’s health and addresses the wider social issues of health.

Be A Game Changer launched in February 2019 to encourage Newcastle United supporters and men across the North East to talk openly about mental health and to lower the overall suicide rate in the region.

The campaign has consistently expanded to provide provision for marginalised communities and uses in-person programmes, social media, and dedicated workshops and activities to break down stigmas surrounding mental health matters.

Ashley Lowe, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “I am thrilled that Be A Game Changer is being recognised for the impact is making on hundreds of lives across the North East.

“We are thrilled to accept this award from the esteemed Royal Society for Public Health, which champions better physical and mental wellbeing for all.

“We have worked incredibly hard to build Be A Game Changer to where it is today. It is incredibly rewarding to see real, positive changes for our participants that can be life-changing, and sometimes, life-saving.

“I would like to thank my team at the Foundation for their continued efforts to support our community members – the dedication and the passion that they show on a daily basis is the reason that the campaign has reached so many people with our message to talk openly about mental health.”

Judges assessing the Public Mental Health and Wellbeing category, sponsored by GambleAware, were looking to recognise efforts made in the prevention of mental illness and promotion of mental health.

Naming Newcastle United Foundation as category winners, assessors stated: “The Foundation understood the process of addressing inequalities and the particular experiences of men they approached for adopting social marketing secured uptake by building on tested activities, allowing the service users to address mental health and access support.”

More than 125 organisations applied nationally for the UK’s premier award scheme promoting health and wellbeing hosted by broadcaster and journalist Natasha Kaplinsky at a live event in London on October 21, 2021.

A live stream of the event is available here, as well as a full list of award winners and shortlisted nominees.

The Foundation’s dedicated Be A Game Changer webpage and social media shares tips on keeping physically and mentally healthy, signposts to support for yourself or a friend, and a space to tell the stories and experiences of Magpies supporters.

The campaign is funded by Newcastle City CouncilNorth East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention NetworkPremier League Charitable Fund, and The National Lottery Community Fund, helping provide mental wellness-boosting sessions like Sleep and Stress workshops, Walking Football for older players of the game and Peer Support Group meetings at St. James’ Park.

For more information about Be A Game Changer or for help and advice from Newcastle United Foundation, visit

To find out more about Foundation and programmes near you, follow Newcastle United Foundation on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter for regular news and updates.

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