HARTLEPOOL UNITED’S Myles Anderson helped Barnard Grove Primary School pupils in ‘Finding Your Brave’ and as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.

The defender took part in a special ‘Audience with…’ event at the school and around 30 pupils and parents joined the discussion on mental health.

Children’s Mental Health Week took place last week, founded to help shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health – this year’s theme was Find Your Brave.

“Myles has played such an important role with this talk,” said the school’s Well Being Lead Hilary Harmison, who approached the club to see if they could get involved in some way.

“It’s been an opportunity for the children to be able to talk to someone who is in a role that many of them may aspire to be in. That’s especially for some of our older boys who are perhaps in danger of taking those wrong paths, it’s all about meeting and being given the chance to talk to role models.

“For some of our boys, they can have a front but we have talked with them about strategies to give them support when they are feeling a bit vulnerable.

“I am very aware that the club regularly champions the need to focus on mental health which is why I extended an invite to them, and anything like this that encourages our pupils to open up and interact about this important topic is really worthwhile.”

Anderson spent almost an hour talking about the times when he’s had to ‘find his brave’ on and off the pitch.

He admitted: “I was a bit apprehensive so I certainly had to ‘find my brave’ but hopefully I have helped some of the young guys find theirs in some way.

“It was all about trying to help the children find their brave and, in football terms for me, that means getting stuck in and getting back up if you get knocked down.

“On the other side, being brave is about being able to say ‘OK I might need help here’ and then being able to speak to your parents, your friends, your teachers and know that it’s fine to do that.’’

For more information visit https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/