A new Community Wellbeing Hub has opened at the home of Blackburn Rovers.

The centre is believed to be the first of its kind to be based and delivered within a professional football stadium in England. 

The Ewood Park hub will aim to ‘connect and empower people’ with a mental health need through effective and coordinated service delivery.

Blackburn Rovers Community Trust said they are hoping to work closely with the NHS, and as part of this, so individuals can 'receive the help needed for personal recovery and independence'.

The Community Wellbeing Hub is free to access, and will provide shared office space, breakout rooms and leisure spaces for health-related organisations including Blackburn Rovers Community Trust to work from and see their clients. 

More than 50 people attended the official opening of the centre. Also present were players the men and women’s first teams and an Academy member of staff, including Dominic Hyam and Faith Nokuthula,

Blackburn Rovers Community Trust’s CEO, Gary Robinson, said: “Planning for the Community Wellbeing Hub started more than three years ago and I am very excited that we are now in able to launch the facility that will help thousands of people.

“We care passionately about improving people’s health and wellbeing. After extensive research, we discovered there was little or no non-clinical safe spaces for people to utilise for physical and mental wellbeing support.

“Unfortunately, there can be a stigma attached to clinical settings, and this can discourage people from reaching out for help, when for some this could be the best way to receive the help they require to recover and improve their wellbeing.

“There could be a number of reasons why people visit Ewood Park and we want utilise the outstanding dedicated community space to open up more opportunities for people to get support.

“It was pleasing to see so many health professionals and members of the public in attendance at the official opening of the Community Wellbeing Hub, and we are looking forward to the difference we can make now we have this unique facility.”

Blackburn Rovers Head of Health and Wellbeing, Eddie Owen, said: “I am extremely proud to lead such a pioneering project.

“Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and its partners feel collectively we have a brilliant opportunity to showcase this unique community wellbeing facility that supports local health related organisations, partners and participants to help improve access to quality care.

“We are looking forward to referring participants into the Community Wellbeing Hub from our current 20 health and wellbeing initiatives.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Associate Director of Operations for Pennine Network – Community Services, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT), Scott Smith,  said: “Embarking on this exciting partnership was a real focus for us, knowing of many similar existing schemes already in place and after speaking to the team at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust.

“It was clear there was a vision and determination within the club to do something different which benefits our community, which closely aligns to our goals of reaching out into communities, being a team and working together to make a difference. We want to support people in making better decisions linked to their mental and physical wellbeing.

“We are really proud to be working with the team at Blackburn Rovers and flourish, using the backdrop of football and other wellbeing activities to generate new connections.”