This charity set up in the memory of a young footballer is helping people obtain quick access to mental health support, as well as counselling for families bereaved by suicide. It aims to ensure everyone in their community, no matter their age, can access rapid support for any mental health issues.
Jac Lewis was 27 when he took his own life in February 2019 after five years of struggling with his mental health.
The young carpenter had found it hard to get support on the NHS for his wellbeing, and his death shattered his family and friends.
In the aftermath, his father Jesse and his teammates from Ammanford FC in Carmarthenshire, West Wales, decided to take action and ensure no one was left feeling like life was not worth living.
They set up The Jac Lewis Foundation later that year - a decision that was well-timed when the pandemic brought with it a tsunami of mental health problems.
The charity aims to ensure everyone in their community, no matter their age, can access rapid support for any mental health issues.
It also has a Wales-wide bereavement by suicide support service, which has received two grants totalling £19,240 from The National Lottery Community Fund over the last two years.
The charity operates out of a wellbeing centre in Ammanford FC’s ground, which was built in the style of TV show DIY SOS, with builders and businesses providing skills and materials for free.
It opened in December 2020 with only one counsellor. The team has since grown significantly and has supported over 1600 adults and children with its free of charge services including telephone support, one-to-one counselling, wellbeing workshops, and a mental health one stop hub that offers immediate support.
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