YOUNG football players will have access to mental health resources thanks to a new partnership.

The Barrow and District Junior Football League have joined forces with The Drop Zone.

Based on Bath Street in Barrow, The Drop Zone works with young people in local communities through a wide variety of schemes and programmes aimed at improving mental health, education and skills.

League Secretary Paul Knight said the support was vital during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Mental health awareness is an important topic to me and I am aware that the current situation will be having an effect on all of our players and their coaches," he said.

"This partnership helps us to gain the support that we as volunteers need and hopefully that benefit will quickly transfer to those who need it. Of course we also need to ensure that the support we provide continues long after the virus.”

League chairman Ben Shirley said the support will help make up for the socialising and fun youngsters experience when playing football.

“Kids play football because it’s fun," he said.

"Right now many of our players will be missing playing sport and mixing with their friends. I am delighted that, working together with The Drop Zone youth charity, we’re able to roll out a number or resources and some support to help our members.”

Drop Zone Chairman Mike Cumming said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us to assist in this endeavour. The Drop Zone is dedicated to helping and supporting young people, even more now during these times. Anything that supports the mental health of young people and making access to education and skills must be at the forefront of our efforts. This is an excellent opportunity to reach out and assist and provide a platform for the future."

Cath Corkill, one of the managers at Drop Zone added: "Young people are at the centre of everything we do. We have an open door policy and strive to help anyone who needs it. We value partnership working as it provides more opportunities for the children and young people who live in the Furness area. We are extremely fortunate to have been given an opportunity to work alongside the Barrow & District Junior Football League to develop provision and opportunities for our local children, young people, their families and our local communities."