Nottingham-based developer Barratt and David Wilson Homes has made a £1,500 donation to Sands United FC Nottingham, a local football team dedicated to supporting men who have experienced the loss of a baby.
This substantial contribution is set to support the team’s mission of promoting men’s mental health and providing a safe space for them to share their grief and stories.
Sands United FC Nottingham was founded in February 2023 by Raj Chagger, the Team Manager, who initiated the project following the tragic loss of his baby boy, Riaan. It is part of a wider network of football teams run by national bereavement charity, Sands.
In response to the lack of support for men affected by baby loss, Raj decided to create a supportive environment that primarily serves as a mental health support group and secondarily as a football team.
The team uses football as a tool to bring men together and offers a platform for them to discuss their experiences and emotions openly, challenging the stereotypes that often discourage men from discussing their mental health.
Raj Chagger, Team Manager at Sands United FC Nottingham, said: “This donation from Barratt and David Wilson Homes will go a long way in helping us fight the inner battles that we have hidden away for too long.
“It is an unbelievable gesture and it honestly warms my heart to know that there are people out there willing to support our efforts at improving men’s mental health and allowing us to talk about our babies.
“Baby loss is a taboo topic, and this donation will help us break the silence from the male perspective. As a self-funded operation, it means we can continue. We have been going for seven months now, and I can already see the mental health benefits in my team. Without these donations, it would be difficult for us to run the sessions as often as we do.”
The Sands United FC Nottingham team meets weekly for an hour of football, reaping the mental health benefits of exercise, followed by an hour of open conversation.
The donation from Barratt and David Wilson Homes will predominantly be allocated to pitch fees, ensuring that the team can continue their regular training sessions.
Additionally, a portion of the funds will be used to purchase equipment and training gear, allowing new members to feel like part of the family right away by wearing the team’s colours.
The donation was made as part of the housebuilder’s Barratt Foundation cause, which is designed to support national and local charities, large and small, leaving a lasting legacy in the communities in the areas the developer operates in.
Photo: Jess Selby, Marketing Manager at Barratt and David Wilson Homes with the Sands United FC team