A SOCCER star kicked off 40th anniversary celebrations for a Sandwell mental health charity.

Ex-Premier League footballer Clarke Carlisle joined The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, which runs services and sessions across Cradley Heath, Blackheath, Oldbury and Old Hill for the milestone occasion.

The former QPR and Leeds Utd star, recently presented a BBC documentary titled Footballs Suicide Secret where he admitted his own battle with mental illness.

He said: “Having faced my own battle with mental illness I have only praise for charities that support people battling with mental ill health.

“The Kaleidoscope Plus Group has been a leading light in this field across the West Midlands for 40 years, which is an incredible and fantastic achievement.”

The group, which has supported thousands of people across the borough since it was formed in 1973, has produced a commemorative brochure, a specially-commissioned film and is launching a Facebook App based on the Five To Wellbeing to reach people across the UK.

Kaleidoscope Plus chief executive Monica Shafaq said: “We are very proud of our achievements in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing over the last 40 years but we don’t plan on stopping here.

“As we set out on our next 40 years of making a difference to people’s lives, we are determined to do all that we can to support as many as people as possible who are facing challenging and difficult times.”