Newcastle’s key NHS workers are being offered tools by Newcastle United Foundation to maintain mental wellness during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff are invited to access materials and guidance from the official charity of Newcastle United through its Be A Game Changer campaign.

Newcastle United Foundation launched the mental health awareness programme in February 2019 to encourage Magpies supporters to talk more openly about their mental wellbeing.

As the campaign has grown, businesses, charities and groups across the city have contacted the Foundation to receive Be A Game Changer materials and workshops, ensuring mental wellness in the workplace.

To continue their community work during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Foundation’s Health and Wellbeing team agreed to create extra resources for key workers and Newcastle’s NHS workforce.

Oliver Bell, Newcastle United Foundation’s Health and Wellbeing Manager, said: “Everybody across the country has been astounded by the dedication of everyone working day and night in the NHS to protect us.

“We wanted to provide some respite for the amazing people working across Newcastle Hospitals, including the Freeman, RVI and out in the community, so we created some tailored video presentations explaining ways in which we can help them to help themselves through this time.

“Many people are experiencing worry, anxiety and stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that is concern about the virus itself, financial worries, how loved ones might be affected.

“We hope the resources we’ve created might offer some practical guidance to not only our fantastic NHS, but also to anyone out there who might need it.”

He added: “As a charity, we are incredibly proud to be supporting the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust during this difficult time and hope this is the beginning of a strong relationship between our charity and the Trust.”

The Health and Wellbeing team plan on creating and releasing mental health awareness videos each week to offer practical tips and advice on how to maintain mental wellness in self-isolation or in pressured key worker roles.

The Be A Game Changer campaign currently engages more than 800 men and earlier this year partnered with Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light to raise awareness across Wearside and County Durham.

Newcastle Hospitals, Consultant Anaesthetist, Dr James Prentis, added: “Being able to discuss mental wellbeing and realising its importance for all of our clinical teams in the current situation is so important.

“Newcastle United is such an important part of everyone’s life and to have the support of the Foundation throughout this challenging time is amazing. To be one city united fighting together to keep everyone safe and well means so much to everybody involved in the Newcastle hospitals”

To find out more about #BeAGameChanger or to access support materials, visit nufoundation.org.uk/beagamechanger or follow @NU_Foundation on Twitter.