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Northern Ireland's Ahead of the Game programme shows the value of volunteers

After finding comfort in football, grassroots volunteer Kenny Dalglish Greenhill is making an impact in his community thanks in part to UEFA funding.

The Irish FA produced this video featuring volunteer Kenny Greenhill
The Irish FA produced this video featuring volunteer Kenny Greenhill

This story is adapted from the original Irish FA article

After losing both his parents in recent years, Kenny Dalglish Greenhill found himself struggling with anxiety.

A huge Liverpool fan, named after the Reds' legendary forward, Kenny turned to football to help him cope, investing his time and energy as a volunteer for the Irish FA and as secretary of a local amateur league.

Kenny was named after the Liverpool, Celtic and Scotland legend
Kenny was named after the Liverpool, Celtic and Scotland legend©Getty Images

Kenny uses his own experiences to help others with their mental health as part of the Irish FA Foundation's Ahead of the Game programme, which was launched to tackle the stigma around the topic and promote positive and preventative measures.

In 2018, he created his own group, Here4All, as part of his work with Portavogie Rangers, and is now studying a counselling course to further his expertise.

"In a nutshell, getting involved in a football club has helped me dramatically with my mental health," he said. "There have been many challenges along the way, but I feel that I am better prepared to face such challenges. I have learned and achieved so much being involved in the football fraternity and cannot wait to see what the next few years bring. I see myself being involved more within mental health in football and I know the path I want to take.

"Football has been my release, let it be yours. I would like to thank my wife for all the support she has given me over the years, my family and in-laws. A special thanks much also go to the Irish FA Foundation."

More about Ahead of the Game

Kenny volunteers both with his local club and the Irish FA
Kenny volunteers both with his local club and the Irish FA

Ahead of the Game is the Irish FA Foundation's mental health programme for football clubs.

The course aims to support clubs and volunteers when dealing with mental health issues, challenging the stigma around mental health, promoting positive mental health and preventative measures.

It is funded in part by UEFA's HatTrick Football and Social Responsibility (FSR) programme, which since its creation in 2016, has invested €11m to more than 90 different projects that contribute to managing the game's social, economic and environmental impacts.