Before lockdown, I was working with the fantastic team at Newcastle United Foundation on their #BeAGameChanger mental health campaign – designed to get more men talking about mental health.

I spent almost a year working alongside my colleagues at NGI and the team at NUF and, during this time, we were privileged to meet some truly amazing people. We interviewed so many men who were happy to share their story to help others, and the campaign resulted in so much media coverage, influencer engagement, really impactful films and, now, this little gem of a meditation track designed specifically for NUFC fans.

Key to the campaign was making sure that the messaging was targeted specifically to our audience. So not only were we talking about mental health, but we were using well known football phrases or terminology (e.g. instead of saying ‘support your mate’ we said ‘even the greatest no 9 needs a no 10’). We made sure that we spoke directly to the people we wanted to reach and tested messages regularly with focus groups.

We recorded the mindfulness track pre-lockdown, almost a year ago now, but obviously things changed and the world got put on hold, etc. But now, as we’re in the midst of lockdown 2, it feels like the perfect time for NUFC fans to enjoy seven minutes of being ‘at the game’ thanks to this nifty little track and a pair of headphones.

We initially tested the idea with a brief survey to fans, linked in with Tyneside Mind for advice, worked with a fantastic sound guy, Brendan Ratliff, director, Krishna Muthurangu (who also directed the film), and two Geordie actors (and huge NUFC fans) Chris Connel (who happens to be my other half) and Dean Bone. A truly collaborative effort.

So, there you go, you can now conjure the magic of the beautiful game from the comfort of your own home – and in a socially distanced way.

To listen to the track, click on the YouTube link embedded below:

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