Kyle Ingram-Baldwin

Striking a link between football and wellbeing

Men are statistically less likely to take their mental health seriously and are reluctant to seek out help. One solution, devised by Kyle Ingram-Baldwin, has created a project that merges football with mental health. Now Kyle’s initiative – Project Talking Football – has been nominated for the Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards 2024. Kate Orr from the awards team interviewed Kyle to find out more.


Project Talking Football is a fantastic initiative that takes place weekly, helping anyone and everyone facing adversity by creating a community focused on sport and mental health.

This innovative initiative is run in collaboration with Minster Football Club and is run by a dedicated team of four volunteers. It is unlike the normal football club you would assume it to be, as Project Talking Football supports men of all ages with their mental health through physical sport and its talking group.

Project Talking Football is so much more than just a football club. It is a support network, and it doesn’t end with the session each week. There is a WhatsApp Group Chat for all attendees to stay in contact with each other and those leading the initiative. Whether you are struggling with bereavement, job loss, depression, anxiety, bipolar, loss of a loved one or fighting illness amongst many other things, you are welcome.

Sessions are free and start with a talk on a wellbeing theme that changes each week. Topics include dealing with anxiety, societal expectations of what it means to be a man, and letting your guard down. This is an open discussion as a group; a space where men can confront their emotions and then in smaller groups, they discuss it further.

After the discussion the group takes to the pitch. This part is a chance for the participants to burn off some steam and get their body moving. It is not compulsory; indeed you can just watch, but it is open to anyone and everyone. And age doesn’t come into play; there are participants from the age of 18 all the way up to the ripe age of 72.

At the end of the session a debrief takes place. This is a fantastic way to cool down and these chats, integrated with sport, has provided a strong foundation for many friendships within Project Talking Football.

To nominate an individual, organisation or initiative for the Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards, or to find out more, visit