Dalziel dig deep in support of mental wellbeing
Members from Dalziel Rugby Club in Motherwell have turned their hand to gardening in support of a local initiative, which has seen a community garden transformed into a tranquil set to be utilised for individuals looking to reconnect with nature to support their mental wellbeing, as well as people living with dementia.
The garden area located on Findlay Street was first created in 2015 but had since become overgrown.
Members from the rugby club joined forces with local groups including Community Learning and Development, Clydesdale Community Initiative, Motherwell South Church, and some of the local schools.
Eighteen club members, ranging from senior players, midi coaches, senior coaches and committee members have been volunteering to help renovate the garden, a united effort which Club President David Scott is extremely proud of, saying: “We are a community club and believe in helping others. This is an example of the kind of club we are. It’s good to help upgrade a facility which helps promote positive mental health and I look forward to seeing the finished project."
"Our members understand the values of rugby and how important it is to help others and support each other. It’s a privilege to contribute to the local community and also help a great charity, which means so much to many members of the club.” David Scott, President
The club’s efforts to renovate this community space follows on from a range of mental wellbeing workshops and events hosted by the club since last year.
As part of a nation-wide push to get people talking more openly about mental health, in February 2020 the club took part in the 'Time to Talk' event, organised by See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health discrimination.
Over 160 players and coaches, from youth to senior rugby, took part in the event which began with mixed age group touch rugby, followed by open conversations about mental wellbeing and how to make it easier to talk to a friend who is feeling down.
Elaine Neilson, Communications Officer for Dalziel Rugby Club organised the event, describing it as an “inspiring night of conversation”, saying: “Having these important conversations can make a big difference to many people. The more we talk, the more lives we can change. We came away from that night pledging that this would be the first of many events focusing on mental wellbeing and making sure our players, no matter what age, know that the club is a safe space to talk about their feelings.
“Because of coronavirus, this year's 'Time to Talk' event was hosted online and it was great to be able to dedicate another night to open conversation about mental wellbeing, especially after such a difficult year. Hopefully our 2021 event will be in person again.”
Staying true to their pledge, the club has since gone on to work in close partnership with North Lanarkshire Council’s Suicide Prevention project, benefitting from digital suicide awareness training and mental health workshops for coaches and players.
The club will also see signage to promote the project installed on their 1XV pitch, and the U18s strips will now feature the project’s logo as a sponsor.
Peter Burgon, Scottish Rugby’s Regional Director for the Glasgow North region said: “It's brilliant to hear about Dalziel Rugby Club's continued commitment to supporting players of all ages, and their wider community with their mental wellbeing.
"I would encourage other clubs in the Glasgow North region to explore ways they could connect with nature or get involved with initiatives which encourage conversations around mental health.
"A great place to start would be with Scottish Rugby's mental wellbeing e-learning course. It's been specially created for players, coaches and volunteers by a number of experts in the field. The course only takes 30 minutes to complete but it gives participants the chance to gain knowledge and learn techniques to effectively support others in the rugby community."