AJ Bell and Sale Sharks unveil ‘Place2Be Stand’ ahead of first game

Salford-based investment platform AJ Bell has awarded naming rights of the North Stand at the AJ Bell Stadium to the children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

The new stand was unveiled today by Sale Sharks players Marland Yarde and Ben Curry, with Place2Be ambassadors Radio 1 DJ Katie Thistleton and CBBC Presenter Rhys Stephenson.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on mental health conditions and the importance of identifying these as early as possible.

The uncertainty and disruption that has affected so many of us this year, can lead to stress and anxiety for some people, detrimentally impacting their mental health – especially when separated from the loved ones they might normally lean on for support. Children in particular, have been hugely affected by the change in their routines as they cope with learning during the pandemic whilst missing their friends and recreational activities.

Place2Be is the UK’s leading provider of school-based mental health services. The charity works with children, families and staff in schools across the UK; providing counselling for children and parents, and support and training for school staff. Place2Be gives children and young people the support they need to help them build life-long coping skills by helping them to overcome wide-ranging and complex issues, from bullying and friendship problems, to bereavement, family breakdown and trauma.

Home to Salford Red Devils as well as Sale Sharks, the AJ Bell Stadium’s North Stand will be branded Place2Be for the next two years.

Andy Bell, Chief Executive at AJ Bell, says:

“Stress, anxiety and other mental health illnesses can hit at any age. Place2Be are an incredible charity, approaching difficult-to-explain subjects to young people with kindness and patience which is why we’re delighted to give them the naming rights to the North stand at the AJ Bell Stadium.”

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be, says:

“Place2Be is delighted to have been given this wonderful opportunity by AJ Bell. The unveiling of the Place2Be stand builds on our existing relationship with Sale Sharks and their fans; helping to raise awareness of our work to improve children’s mental health in schools in the North West and across the UK. In a year that has been challenging for many children and young people, it’s vital that we continue to invest in their futures, so we’re so grateful for AJ Bell’s incredible support.”

Place2Be became a charity partner of Sale Sharks thanks to two of the club’s co-owners, Michelle and Simon Orange, who met the charity through its BAFTA KIDS Roadshows awards programme and were moved by the work it was doing to support children and young people’s mental health.

Michelle Orange, Co-owner of Sale Sharks, says:

“Place2Be became our club’s first official charity partner in 2019 and we are proud to support them and the amazing work they do every day.

“We’ve worked closely with them through our team at the Sharks Community Trust to deliver school programmes that build resilience and coping strategies for young people.

“It’s great that AJ Bell have helped bring Place2Be to our home stadium and we’ll continue to work hard to champion their cause through our club, our players and all of our staff.”


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