New grassroots football team to support mental health awareness set up by Leeds charity
A new grassroots football team to support mental health awareness has been set up by a Leeds charity.
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".
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 - with another squad planned if numbers continue.
SimfitUK, ARC Forwarding Ltd, HBDGroup Ltd and JTP John The Plumber are all helping to sponsor the team.
The team are set to train every week in Rodley.
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.
The charity set out on a Three Peaks attempt earlier in June in order to raise much needed funds - with a fundraiser launched on GoFundMe.
The National Three Peaks Challenge is an event in which participants attempt to climb the highest mountains of England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours.
Josh was part of a group of six who ascended all three peaks successfully.
Leader Hayden Lee said he "smashed it" and was very proud of Josh.
Speaking to the YEP, Hayden said: "It went really well but it was gruelling."