Former Swansea City academy player Jac Lewis tragically took his own life in 2019 at the age of 27. In response to this devastating event, the community of Ammanford and the local football club have come together to establish a charity organization aimed at improving access to mental health treatment. The charity, named after Jac, has opened a drop-in mental health center at the club every Friday.
The driving force behind this initiative is Anthony Rees, whose daughter was Jac’s former long-term girlfriend. Feeling a personal responsibility to take action, Rees approached Jac’s parents, Jesse and Janet Lewis, to discuss the idea of setting up a foundation in their son’s name. The primary goal was to raise funds for providing counseling services to vulnerable individuals aged 22 to 32.
The response from the community has been incredible, with people organizing fundraisers and donating their time and resources. As a result, a drop-in center has been established, offering immediate support and counseling to those in need. The center also collaborates with local GP surgeries to reduce waiting times for mental health treatment.
Since its establishment, the charity has had a significant impact, providing assistance to over 3,000 people and employing 65 counselors. The ultimate aim of the organization is to help as many individuals as possible and ultimately save lives. The work of the charity is deeply personal for Anthony Rees, who is reminded of Jac’s tragic death every day. This grief serves as a constant reminder of the importance of the charity’s mission.
Despite the emotional toll, Rees remains committed to making a difference. He firmly believes that the support and involvement of the local community have been crucial to the charity’s success. The dedication and generosity of the people of Ammanford have allowed the organization to thrive, offering much-needed support to those struggling with mental health issues.
The establishment of the drop-in center has provided a lifeline for individuals who may otherwise have had limited access to mental health services. By offering immediate support and collaborating with local healthcare providers, the charity is working to ensure that vulnerable individuals receive the help they need when they need it most.
The tragic loss of Jac Lewis has sparked a movement in Ammanford, bringing together a community determined to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with mental health issues. Through the establishment of the charity and the ongoing support and involvement of the community, the organization aims to continue providing vital services and ultimately save lives.