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Colin Dolan

Colin Dolan

Friday 20 November 2020

Colin was nominated as a Community Hero by Michelle, who said…

“Colin set up Liverpool Football Therapy in 2019, with the aim of using football as a tool to help those experiencing poor mental health. Originally he had 1 session per week, then expanded to 3 after the first lockdown. He not only supports nearly 70 participants but also has to manage his own mental health condition of bipolar and anxiety. He is there for all those that attend Liverpool FT pretty much 24/7.”

 

Colin, how did you get into volunteering?

I got involved in volunteering back in 2012 as I felt I was ready to give back to the community, and I helped support a number of people who were homeless, suffering with addiction and mental health issues. As I am bipolar and have suffered through depression and mania for over 30 years, I am in a position to offer peer support on mental health issues. Although not addicted to alcohol or drugs I certainly abused them regularly and used them as a coping mechanism before being sectioned in both Madrid and Liverpool.

I joined Everton in the Community’s Imagine Your Goals programme in late 2012 and it totally transformed and in fact saved my life. I began to volunteer with them as soon as I was able to, I am still a volunteer with them and look forward to helping for many years to come.


What inspires you to help others?

I launched my own non-profit company Liverpool Football Therapy CIC in July 2019, it began just as a 5-a-side team playing in local leagues then expanded to abroad too – the team won La Testa Nel Pallone playing against mental health football teams from throughout Europe. I am inspired by all 70 plus participants we now have, every one of them is on a mental ill health journey and I want to do all I can to support them through playing football as well as creating an opportunity to improve their social and emotional wellbeing. How could I fail to be inspired!


What can people do to ‘light up Christmas’, and bring a smile to someone’s face this year?

To light up people’s lives this Christmas keep in mind you don’t have to have money to be kind, kindness costs nothing. Look out for each other, check on your family, your friends your neighbours, you can also be kind to strangers too. If you can make a donation of any kind to organisations who need support more now than ever before, it’s particularly tough for so many at this time of the year while most of us are enjoying time with family and friends surrounded by gifts, food, drink and lots of love.

 

Thank you, Colin!


Find more about Liverpool ONE in the community here.

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