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Making their move to improve mental health

Board game lovers can stimulate their minds and socialise in Alsager during 2022 by joining in to play their favourites.

Monthly get-togethers, called Board Games for Mental Health, begin at Alsager United Reformed Church on Brookhouse Road ON Saturday 22nd January from 2pm to 4pm.

They are the inspiration of Congleton’s Stuart Nield, whose Board Games for Mental Health documentary was broadcast by radio stations worldwide. A radio series with the same name is planned for 2022.

At next Saturday’s opening event for Alsager’s board gamers Mr Nield will be joined by the Rev Murray George, the minister of Alsager and Congleton United Reformed Churches, while town councillor Sue Helliwell will also help out.

Mr George said: “I believe board games can be very beneficial to people aiming to maintain good mental health as well as those who are living with a challenging mental health state.

“Alsager and Congleton United Reformed Churches are proud to be hosting these events where people can come and engage as much or as little as they feel able for as long as they feel able.

“I have witnessed growing confidence and self assuredness in people who have been coming to the Congleton group for a number of months and it has been a real pleasure to be a part of these get-togethers.”

Coun Helliwell, who enjoys playing Scrabble and the Stoke-on-Trent version of Monopoly with family and friends, said: “There are many benefits of board games on mental health, including engaging socially, building self-esteem and reducing social isolation. Boardgames can promote exchanges through interpersonal interactions.

“I am looking forward to helping out and I hope the group is a success and it leads to people feeling less isolated. They will have something to look forward to.”

The event in Alsager will be free to enter and both newcomers and veteran board game players alike are welcome to use one of the many games which will be on hand, or they can take their own.

Board gaming days will be held in Alsager every third Saturday of the month while the Congleton event will continue to run on the last Saturday of the month at Congleton United Reformed Church on Antrobus Street.

Similar events in more towns are planned.

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