Walsall midfielder Brendan Kiernan has been appointed as charity ambassador for leading mental health and wellbeing charity The Kaleidoscope Plus Group.
Kiernan is a professional footballer with more than 15 years playing experience in the industry. His footballing journey started at Fulham FC followed by later signing for Crystal Palace FC at age 15.
He then moved to the newly formed AFC Wimbledon academy and became the first academy graduate to sign for the first team. In that same season he made his debut at 18 and was part of a historic squad which saw AFC Wimbledon successfully promoted to the football league for the first time in the club’s history.
He remained at Wimbledon for two more seasons before diving into non-league football getting more than 200 games under his belt. He joined Walsall in June 2021 and has scored five goals for the club so far this season. He also uses his expertise and experience to work with players across the football league.
Monica Shafaq, CEO of The Kaleidoscope Plus Group said: “I am so pleased to welcome Brendan to the charity as our latest ambassador. Brendan is a strong mental health advocate and aims to create safe spaces to tackle mental health challenges, build emotional resilience and improve self-care, so we are delighted to have him on board.
“Mental health has a huge stigma within football. There’s still so much work to be done within clubs and the wider football community to support players’ mental health and wellbeing on and off the pitch as well as their fans.
“There are also many inequalities in football and equality and wellbeing are huge passions of mine, so working with Brendan gives us the opportunity to firmly put these issues at the forefront in a sector where it has been lacking – and a sector in which it can have significant impact.
“Team KPG and I are all looking forward to working with Brendan so that we can help to educate and support people who might be struggling both now and in the future.”
Kiernan’s appointment comes after the charity launched its new celebrity ambassador programme in May 2020, in a bid to utilise the support of a variety of influential people to get Britain talking about mental health.
When he’s not playing football, Brendan works with young players in football to help deal with rejection and build resilience on and off the pitch. His ‘Call BK’ celebration has been used to remind people to reach out to find the right support networks and safe spaces to maintain good mental health.
Kiernan said: “I’m pleased to become an ambassador of the charity Kaleidoscope Plus Group, they provide great care and support services to help more people improve their mental health and wellbeing. I’m looking forward to offering my support to the charity and helping out where I can.”
For more information about the charity and the support it offers visit www.kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk