Centre back Tom Parkes spent a couple of hours with staff and sevice users of Coping Through Football recently. CTF is the highly successful transformational project that demonstrates how two sporting charities, London Playing Fields Foundation and Leyton Orient Trust, can work with the NHS (in the shape of NELFT) to produce a sustainable recovery model approach to engage with and improve the wellbeing of adults and young people experiencing mental health issues.
With the project now well established, a calendar of events is now in place and on the final session of the year, the annual six-a-side tournament took place at the Powerleague in Fairlop with over 25 players taking part and medals for the winners! A big thank you must also go out to Brian Meyer, manager at Tesco’s in Leyton who turned up and provided ample water and fruit for all concerned as the store is a firm supporter of such like projects within the local community.
A few days earlier, hosted at another of the projects venues, Douglas Eyre Sports Centre in Walthamstow, Leyton Orient’s Tom Parkes popped in to see the session users once again as he did in October when visiting the annual mental health day tournament held at the Score centre in Leyton.
This time however it was to chat and hand out presents at the inaugral CTF Christmas luncheon – a superb two-course traditional Christmas meal followed by mince pies!
“It was great to come and see all these guys and girls again,” said Tom. “They are a special bunch and you can see just how much this project means to them. I really enjoy chatting to them all and look forward to seeing them again later in the season.”
Howard Gould, Community Liaison Officer, commented, “It was great to have Tom visit the project once again. The service users really do appreciate the time the players give and it really brightens up their day. Tom is very amenable and this really does make him a hit with the group. Having a professional footballer come to chat and pass on advice really does inspire them to make adjustments in their own lives.”
If you would like more information on CTF please visit the website www.copingthroughfootball.org