Mental Health Football Club launches in Scunthorpe

A new football club, dedicated to championing mental health, is proud to announce its official launch in Scunthorpe. 

Founded by individuals who understand the impact of mental health challenges firsthand, the initiative aims to create a community where football meets positive wellbeing and support.

Mental Health Football Club (MHFC) began as a single session in Doncaster in 2023. Since then, with around 90 kickarounds and hundreds of attendees, the group has grown in popularity, fostering an active community of over 200 members.

Thanks to a grant from us, the club is now establishing roots in Scunthorpe, with the first session set to take place on Monday 24 June between 6-8pm at Appleby Frodingham Works Athletic Club.

For just £3 per session, individuals over the age of 16 are encouraged to get involved in the game, open up, build relationships and end the stigma.

Our support of the initiative doesn’t end there, with the team offering counselling sessions and access to employment and training opportunities.

Hayley Cullen, Operations Manager at Ongo said: “We’re delighted to be working with such a fantastic organisation, as part of our commitment to support local people.

“We know how important it is to raise awareness of mental health and make sure help is accessible for those who need it. We provide a range of projects including a specialist counselling service, so it’s great and makes sense to work together.

“I’m excited to see how the club progresses and wish them the best of luck.”

A dedicated team of volunteers, equipped with suicide awareness training, DBS checks and Football Association (FA) qualifications run the club.

One of these, Mark Batunas said: “I am so proud to be part of this group, to see the difference it has makes it all worthwhile.

“Our goal is to combat loneliness and promote mental well-being. Everyone on the pitch understands personal battles and is there for the same reason so there’s no judging.

“It’s a safe space to be yourself, open up if you’d like to, access support and be with likeminded people. We have links to organisations like Trauma Research UK and can signpost where needed too.

“We’re currently recruiting for more volunteers and are hoping to grow the club as much as possible. This has been made possible with some great organisations, like Ongo, who have funded us, and we can’t thank enough.

“We hope to see many people at the launch this month so please come along if you can.”

Paul, a regular member commented: “To anyone seeing this and feeling apprehensive about going, I promise that you don’t need to. All day today I’ve felt really good so come down and have a kick about.” 

Gav, another member said: “Another good kick around, it’s definitely helping to give me a boost while I’ve been struggling. It gives me a reason to force myself to get out.”

To find out more about the club or to get involved, head to their website (, find them on Facebook (mhfooty) or follow them on X (MHFooty