A Ludgershall charity and sports club is celebrating after it was awarded thousands of pounds to continue its work.

Kick Start FC, which uses football and other activities to help residents with mental and physical health, was given just under £1500 by Tidworth Town Council to help fund its activities.

Thanking the council for the ‘kind’ donation, Kick Start FC said: “A huge thank you to Tidworth Town Council for believing in our mission, we appreciate the support.

“The money we applied for will be used to fund further activities and to help us raise more awareness on promoting positive mental health in our local community.

“Although we use football at our core to raise awareness and encourage people to start ‘Tackling The Mind’, we are slowly introducing projects off the pitch. We currently have our walking group and our online team talks. It is about making people aware and helping them improve their own mental health, offering social inclusion and creating a support network.”

Kick Start FC was founded in 2020 by Michael Cunningham, who decided that he wanted to help local people learn about their mental health and begin to improve it. This is achieved through various football matches in Tidworth and Ludgershall, as well as walking, and talking, groups and events such as an easter egg hunt. This week, it also launched its first sessions in Andover.

The charity is beloved by many in the area, with a variety of fundraising activities, such as three friends’ 48-hour running challenge and skydiving, being held to support it.

Now, Tidworth Town Council has also thrown its support behind the charity.

Mayor of Tidworth, Councillor Mark Connolly, said: “Tidworth Town Council gave a grant of almost £1500 to Kick Start FC to help fund its activities.

“Although football is its main platform, Kick Start FC does other activities, such as walking groups. It is about improving mental health, bringing people together, whatever their age and getting people out.

“I visited a session at the astroturf off Bulford Road this evening to see what we have invested in. I might even try a few sessions myself!”

To find out more about Kick Start FC, visit: https://www.kickstartfc.org/