Pendle student has a ball with Prince William

A lucky young student from Pendle received a right royal boost when she was presented with a signed football by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

Beth Hope, a Year 11 pupil at West Craven High School in Barnoldswick, met the Duke at the launch of the Premier League’s Heads Up campaign in London where she won the football.

HRH the Duke of Cambridge presents Beth Hope with her signed football

HRH the Duke of Cambridge presents Beth Hope with her signed football

She was attending the event with Katy Westwell, one of seven Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners employed by Burnley FC in the Community and working in secondary schools in Burnley and Pendle, including at West Craven High School and Colne Primet Academy.

Beth was chosen to attend the event by the Premier League after a case study about the support she has received from Katy was published on World Mental Health Day in October.

Katy and Beth attended the table football launch event on behalf of Burnley FC in the Community and were joined by representatives from other community initiatives including Southampton FC in the Community and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Community.

Katy said: “Beth and I had an amazing time at the launch of the Heads Up campaign. It was really interesting meeting and learning from people involved with other mental health initiatives, who work with young people, men and people with addictions.

Katy and Beth at the event

Katy and Beth at the event

“The table football tournament was a really fun way of getting to know the other guests and it was fantastic that Beth won the signed ball and got to meet the Duke of Cambridge. She has been really excited about seeing coverage of the event on Sky Sports News and couldn’t wait to get back to school to tell her friends all about it.

“The key message of the Heads Up campaign is to get people to normalise the conversation around mental health. This is something the seven Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners in schools in Burnley and Pendle aim to do every day.

"Since the programme launched in March 2019, the schools we work with have reported seeing a significant improvement in students’ engagement and mental wellbeing.”

Heads Up weekends highlight the power of talking as a way to support one another and dispel stigma.

Spearheaded by the Duke of Cambridge, the season-long Heads Up campaign aims to harness the influence and popularity of football to normalise the conversation around mental health.