Publish date: 16 May 2023

Nearly 100 people descended on Brentford FC Community Sports Trust on Tuesday 16 May for the launch of the Wellbeing and Recovery College.

Attendees were welcomed by the sound of Chiswick Community School's steelband, playing various pop songs, before the event was officially opened by Clinical Director of Community and Recovery Mental Health Services, Dr Julia Renton.

Speaking afterwards, Dr Julia Renton said: "We were very pleased with today's turnout for the launch of our new partnership with Brentford FC's Community Sports Trust. This is an exciting new chapter for the Wellbeing & Recovery College, which we hope will become more accessible to the community, meanwhile, we remain committed to supporting service users as they continue their recovery.”

During the event, which coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week, Associate Director of Community and Recovery Services, Gail Dearing led a Q and A with ex-professional football player Marcus Gayle, in which he spoke candidly about his own mental health and impact on young academy players.

Speaking ahead of the event, Marcus Gayle said: “It’s fantastic to see the Community Sports Trust partnering with The West London NHS Wellbeing & Recovery College to provide wellbeing support and management of mental health for adults across Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow”.

“Mental illness does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of your age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, background or other aspect of cultural identity. 

“I think it’s important to let everyone know that you’re not alone with this and hopefully the partnership can encourage a lot more Brentford fans and people in west London to open up if they are struggling. It’s so important for us all to talk and empower each other, but also to share and listen as well.”

Wellbeing Recovery College: In conversation with Marcus Gayle and Gail Dearing.

Also speaking at the event was Trust CEO Carolyn Regan, and we were pleased to welcome the new Regional Director for NHS England, Caroline Clarke, on her first day in her new role.

The event concluded with a panel Q and A discussion with various members of the Welling and Recovery College team, from former service users to peer trainers.

For more information about the college click here

For questions/queries about the college email