YOUNG Greenock footballers are taking part in a pioneering project to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

Promoting positive mental fitness is the aim of the new initiative, which has been launched by Gerry Bradley from Broomhill Boys' Club and music tutor Louise Glass.

The project, which involves the young people and their parents/carers, aims to research the relationship between young people and their wellbeing.

The group will share their findings with the wider community in the hope of helping others to understand mental health and to encourage regular discussion between young people on the issue.

Gerry said: "We wanted to develop some workshops around mental health and wellbeing.

"We've done three introductory sessions.

"It's going really well especially as the adults are involved too."

The scheme has been temporarily halted by the coronavirus but organisers plan to have it back up and running after the lockdown finishes.

Louise, who will be hosting 'Broomhill Beatz' workshops at the Broomhill Community Hub, said: "It's great to be able to use music as therapy.

"I'll be doing a songwriting workshop to promote wellbeing and a guitar workshop will also be held before they come together at the end to hold a concert."

Keiran Collins, a pupil at Inverclyde Academy, thinks the project is a great idea.

The 13-year-old said: "It's important because sometimes you don't know how other players are feeling.

"If someone is going through a tough time in your team, they might say they're fine and they don't want to speak about it.

"I think it's good that we have this, so that people can come and be themselves.

"It's about making sure people are okay."

Parent Heather McGhee, who has been attending the sessions with her son Josh, 13, who attends Clydeview Academy, added: "I think this is a valuable opportunity as Josh is a typical teenager.

"If you ask him how he is he'll just say 'aye I'm okay'.

"It's good to see them open up and support each other, saying how they're feeling.

"It also makes them more aware of other people's feelings and how to deal with it."

Young footballer Joshua Bradley, 13, who attends Notre Dame High School, added: "It helps your mental and physical health."

Ryan Buchanan, 16 a pupil at Clydeview Academy, added: "I'm studying for an NC in sound production at West College Scotland three days a week, so I'm really looking forward to the music workshop."

Councillor Colin Jackson is backing the workshops too.

He said: "Louise is willing to give up her own time and offer her own experience to help young people improve their mental health.

"I have nothing but respect for her dedication.

"Gerry has been my friend for many years and I've watched him give so much of his own life to helping and supporting young people through various initiatives.

"I knew he was the one person who could help Louise get this off the ground, so when I asked him to get involved he had no hesitation.

"His own awareness of the mental health issues faced by young people and his commitment to take on any challenge is what makes him one of the best and most imaginative community workers in Inverclyde."

* Images taken before public health emergency restrictions implemented.