Mental wellbeing will be front and centre at Leeds Rhinos’ Betfred Super League clash with St Helens as main sponsor Leeds Building Society makes space on the team shirts for Samaritans.
The unique kit featuring Samaritans’ logo will be worn for one game only on 15 August to help raise awareness of mental wellbeing as part of the Society’s partnership with the charity.
Leeds Building Society’s sponsorship gift forms part of its two-year partnership with Samaritans to raise £250,000 to enhance the technology available to volunteers across the charity’s branches.
In the 80 minutes the teams will be out on the pitch, Samaritans volunteers will respond to more than 800 calls for help.
Richard Fearon, Chief Executive Officer at Leeds Building Society, said: “We’ve been a long-term supporter of Leeds Rhinos and main shirt sponsor for 13 years, the longest such partnership in Super League.
“Samaritans became our first ever national charity partner in 2018 and we’ve worked with them to increase awareness of mental health among our colleagues and members. We’ve had fantastic support from both and are well on our way to reaching our £250,000 target ahead of schedule.
“By donating our prime position on the Leeds Rhinos shirt for the St Helens game we’re making space for Samaritans to raise awareness among a different audience about their important work and how volunteers support mental wellbeing.”
The 15 August game at Emerald Headingley Stadium will also feature videos of those who have struggled with mental ill health on the big screens. Collections will take place outside the ground ahead of the game and Samaritans volunteers will be on hand to tell fans more about what they do.
Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer at Samaritans, said: “We’re delighted that Leeds Building Society is affirming its commitment to raising awareness of mental wellbeing by gifting its shirt sponsorship to us.
“It will be fantastic to see Leeds Rhinos running out with our logo on their shirts. We hope our involvement will raise awareness of the free service Samaritans provide to anyone who is going through a difficult time, and encourage fans to think about their own mental health and those close to them.”
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said: “Mental wellbeing is a key focus for our club and the Leeds Rhinos Foundation so it’s great to be work with Leeds Building Society and Samaritans to help raise awareness among our fans at the game and for those watching on TV.
“A number of our current and former players have spoken candidly about their own mental wellbeing and I know they are looking forward to pulling on these unique shirts for the game against St Helens.”