Back Onside x Elgin City FC partnership

Back Onside announce new partnership with League Two team Elgin City FC.

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Elgin City FC

Elgin City FC

Back Onside announce new partnership with League Two team Elgin City FC.    

Back Onside are delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with SPFL League Two team Elgin City FC. Having visited the club recently and been a support to them, the partnership was the natural next step for both sides and Elgin City are now one of a number of League Two teams to partner up with Back Onside. With aligned values surrounding mental health within the football industry, both sides are looking forward to working together to achieve their shared goals and promote positive mental health within the club and beyond.  

It cannot be underestimated just how vital a role this partnership will be as it will assist in reaching not only those within the game but also the wider community. Over the past 5 years, there have been a vast number of players and staff at many clubs in Scotland and beyond being supported by the charity. The value of having a safe and confidential space away from the clubs can be massive for any player or staff member as it means they have somewhere else to turn to and be able to open up and it does not affect their day-to-day working life. In addition, the issues faced by players and staff extend to daily life and problems or struggles beyond football. From this point of view, the professional staff at Back Onside are experienced at dealing with people and issues from a plethora of backgrounds and not just sport. 

As part of the partnership, Back Onside will work closely with Elgin City FC management team to support players and staff with their mental health, hold regular changing room chats, host mental health workshops, and provide training such as Mental Health First Aid.  Elgin City FC will commit to supporting Back Onside and the work they do, making sure the club is a safe space to talk openly about mental health and importantly, this also offers a safe and confidential space for players and staff to find support.  

Elgin City FC will also fundraise for Back Onside throughout the year and help to raise awareness for mental health within the football industry and beyond which is vital in the ongoing crisis around mental health which Back Onside strive to give their continuous support to. Again, any funds raised will go directly towards helping support those struggling with their mental health and this is key to sustaining the charity as they are solely reliant on donations and currently receive no government funding. 

Libby Emmerson, Back Onside Founder, said

“We are so excited to announce another exciting partnership within Scottish Football and are really looking forward to watching it grow.   I have been working closely with Elgin City Manager Gavin Price over the last few months and knew we shared similar values and goals when it comes to mental health.    We are passionate about making clubs a safe space for players to be able to open up should they need to talk and are delighted to be partnering with another fantastic League Two Club, Elgin City.  This partnership is also very important to me as I am aware of how players and clubs often feel so far away from the central belt and at times may feel a little isolated and forgotten about due to location, so we are determined to make sure they receive all the same support and help that any other club, player or individual would receive. 

After working with several football clubs over the last 5 years, we recognised there was a real need for our services and support prompting us to launch our Positive Pitches campaign last year. I have seen first-hand how the work we have done has helped so many people, particularly within the football community and the positive feedback we have received from players and managers alike has been a great testimony and reminder of how vital a role we play in supporting people. The outcomes it has had for the individuals and the teams around them has been incredible. We have since partnered with various teams in Scotland to promote positive mental health within the footballing world, where our experienced team provide a professional, safe and most importantly, a confidential space and support network to anyone who reaches out to us for help.   I am really hoping that eventually all Scottish Football Club’s will see the great work we are doing and it will encourage them to reach out and be part of what we have built here at Back Onside over the last 5 years which is encouraging young men and women to come forward and speak up if they are struggling and see that there is no shame in doing so. We are absolutely delighted to have Elgin City onboard and are really looking forward to seeing how the partnership evolves.”  

Keiran Carty, General Manager at Elgin City FC, said: 

We are delighted to launch an Official Partnership with the Mental Health Charity Back Onside. 

They do a fantastic job providing support through sport especially in the football sector. 

Recently the Back Onside team visited our first team & we look forward to seeing them more often.  We aim to work with the charity to help promote and raise awareness around the Stigma of talking about your Mental Health. 

We are looking forward to working together in the years to come.’

Gavin Price, Manager at Elgin City FC, said:

Back Onside provide an invaluable service to our Clubs.  Having witnessed first-hand how they operate I was so impressed with the speed, empathy, and professionalism of their response.  As we know mental health can affect anyone (Players and Staff), for many different reasons, and should be something we are all aware of.  It is so reassuring that we have the service Back Onside provide readily available in our game.

Back Onside’s Positive Pitches campaign was launched in 2021 aimed at football clubs and players to promote positive mental health within the industry. After working closely with several clubs and players at all levels over the last few years, and realising there was a real lack of support available, the charity decided to launch the campaign to let clubs and players know that there is support out there. Determined to break the stigma attached to mental health and the football industry, the campaign targets football clubs of all levels in a bid to let players & staff know they are there should they need support as well as educating clubs on ways to support players and promote a positive environment. Footballers are often at risk of suffering with their mental health as they face high pressure within their jobs, injuries, abuse on and off the pitch and scrutiny resulting in feelings of anxiety and depression. Many footballers also have other jobs outside of football which adds extra stress and pressure to daily life. All of this can result in their mental health reaching an all-time low and, as many deal with this silently, by the time others realise, it can too often be too late. Throughout the last few of years, the charity have seen an increase in the number of people reaching out to them for help, in particular football players in need of support. This surge spurred founder Libby to launch Positive Pitches in a bid to ensure every club & player knows who they are and how to contact them should they need them.   

Back Onside are a Scottish Charity who supports anyone who may be struggling with their Mental Health, their work sees them working at all levels of Sport and also amazing work in the wider Communities, schools and businesses in various capacities. They offer a variety of support levels and have the experience and expertise within their team including professional 1-to-1 counselling, sport rehabilitation, mental health workshops, educational programmes and focussed activities to assist with recovery and promote a healthier lifestyle. 

For more information, please contact Libby Emmerson on 07528 243 100 / libby@backonside.com