Recently the Community scheme picked up the BBC Surrey/Sussex Community Hero Award for this project.
Be part of this new and exciting project which proves it is making a difference.
Surrey Community Football League
The attitudes people have towards those with mental health problems has resulted in them finding it harder to find work, make friends and in short, live a normal life.
As a result;
People become isolated.
They are excluded from everyday activities.
It is harder to get or keep a job.
People can be reluctant to seek help, which makes recovery slower and more difficult.
Their physical health is affected.
Many people say that being discriminated against in work and social situations can be a bigger burden than the illness itself.
It has an impact on society when people are denied the opportunity and prevented from playing an active role in their communities.
In July 2011 we were asked by Surrey County Council to set up a programme for Mental Health Football Teams in Surrey. The programme should be inclusive so was designed it to be open to people who may not want to play football but be involved in a team in other ways i.e. Physio, Secretary etc.
As well as arranging games from our experience working with Woking Mind we were aware that nutrition, team work and building self esteem needed to be high on the agenda and we wanted to compliment the league by running such courses.
The Surrey Community Football Programme commenced in August 2011 with a tournament which has now become an annual pre season event. Matches are then arranged every month along with events/courses.
Since the league programme started in 2011 it has become more and more a social group where people suffering from mental health problems can come together without the fear of being judged. We have held Food and Nutrition talks, Motivational and Team building days, Pre Level One Coaching Courses, Emergency Aid Courses, some members have been on an assault course and we have even taken members on the high wires. On the agenda for this year is rock climbing, more motivational talks, interview techniques, different sports as well as the usual football programme.
Every year we hold a Christmas Party and an end of season celebration we have had special guests such as Frank Bruno and Martin Tyler (Sky Sports) attend to hand out trophies.
During the season we hold a mix up tournament where we mix players up from different teams and had a fun tournament, this meant that they had to work with different people and allow for others abilities.
Because the league is a mixed gender league the FA would not recognise it, after holding lengthy discussions with Surrey FA the league will now become affiliated and recognised by the FA as will all teams playing in the league. This is a massive achievement for us and our members; we are the only Mental Health League in Surrey and have already had other teams showing interest in joining us because of the support we provide outside of football.
The Community Team works with Surrey County Council on this project are pleased to be working alongside Surrey County Councils Donal Hegerty.
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