AN INITIATIVE created by an Andover man to address mental health challenges through football is organising a charity match to raise money for the cause.

Kick Out the Stigma, an initiative spearheaded by Michael Ford, hosts fun and friendly football matches every Tuesday at Charlton Astro.

Proudly sponsored by S:CRAFT, a premium distributor of made-to-measure shutters and blinds, the initiative aims to support mental health causes.

Motivated by a Mental Health course, Michael launched the project to address the challenges faced by individuals dealing with mental health issues.

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Recognising the therapeutic benefits of exercise, these matches offer a fun and flexible space with no expectations, drawing an enthusiastic crowd every Tuesday.

Liam, a participant in the initiative, said: "Joining this group has not only let me rediscover my love for football but has become a supportive community improving mental health through socialising and physical activity."

In addition to the weekly matches, Michael is actively raising funds for Andover Mind through a collaboration with Crafty Owl, a local business specialising in personalised clothing.

For every purchase of branded clothing, a generous contribution of £2.50 per item will be donated to Andover Mind.

Special events, such as the recent Halloween match, featuring costumes and matched fees by Ocado, further underscore the initiative's commitment to mental health awareness.

To broaden its support base, Kick Out the Stigma has scheduled a charity football match against Kick Start FC on Saturday, December 2, at Picket Twenty sports fields at 10.30am.

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All are invited to attend, watch, and support the game, with donations welcomed at the event or online.

The initiative, which has already made a positive impact, is continually growing and welcomes individuals aged 16 and above.

If you’re interested, connect through Facebook or WhatsApp: 07823 340223