Emotional first victory for new Leeds grassroots football team to support mental health awareness

A new grassroots football team to support mental health awareness set up by a Leeds charity has secured its first victory.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 11:45 am

Vulnerable Citizen Support C.I.C - fronted by Hayden Lee - aims to help the most destitute people in society.

They provide food parcels to struggling individuals and families and assist in finding accommodation for anybody who needs it.

Their slogan is "Homeless Not Helpless".

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

VCS United FC

In a a new initiative, the charity has set up a football team - VCS United - to help raise awareness of male mental health.

Speaking to the YEP, Hayden said: "VCS United want to bring something different to the field by allowing men to speak out on and off the field.

"Our aim is to have fun and be able to better our visions for the future.

"We also aim to raise as much awareness as possible of people struggling with mental health issues, through this season for locals and so the opposition realise what is happening in real life."

Support for the team has been unrelenting since it was launched.

SimfitUK, ARC Forwarding Ltd, HBDGroup Ltd and JTP John The Plumber are all helping to sponsor the team.

The team are now training each week.

Players include Josh Ellis 25, who has benefited significantly from the help of the charity.

Josh was addicted to both spice and cocaine for nearly two years on the streets of Leeds.

However, he is now clean from drugs after being saved by the charity and the help of Hayden.

Players will be accepted regardless of ability, Hayden said.

He hopes the team will help promote mental health awareness across the city.

Despite a tough start in the league, the team secured an emotional first victory this weekend.

The team scored the first and last goals of an eventful game against Leeds Athletic to come out 2-1 victors.

Speaking to the YEP, manager of the team Shane Joy said: "It was important for the lads to taste victory.

"We are striving to develop solid foundations for this team and project and after valiant but heavy back to back defeats the victory against another up and coming side gave us tremendous confidence to springboard into the rest of our pre season campaign.

"As new manager watching the lads, who have worked tirelessly since June, celebrate like they had won the Champions League was beautiful."