The Coping Through Football project was recently featured on the BBC World Service as part of the radio programme 'People Fixing the World'.
Sonia Smith, Occupational Therapist and Project Coordinator for the project said,
‘The Coping Through Football project provides an opportunity to do things differently, offering support that is positive and creative, to help improve the mental wellbeing of its participants . It offers a place to belong , a welcoming , safe place , it’s great to see how the participants grow in confidence and be more able to deal with the challenges in their lives whilst supporting their peers’.
The project aims to use the football experience to improve fitness, increase self-esteem and confidence, make new friends and help people get their lives back on track. It's a social inclusion project that uses football as a tool to engage individuals experiencing mental health problems.
Below are some quotes from participants who have found the project valuable,
‘I like football. I find the training really good. I feel happy after the group and I’m really enjoying it. Socialising and talking with people is good for my mental health and physical health’
‘I like to socialise with people that come to Coping Through Football. The training makes me feel good after the session as it’s making me a better player. I’m feeling more confident as a player and also more confident on a personal level.’
‘It has given my son a safe space to practice sport that he loves while learning new skills to help him with emotional challenges or interacting with others. (Coping Through Football) enables him to socialise, regulate, and keep active. I honest don’t know what we would done without. He really loves attending and loves the staff and his new friends.’
You can listen to the programme here.