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LOCSP: Coping Through Football

15 November 2012

Community Scheme back World Mental Health Day

THE SCORE CENTRE hosted a Coping Through Football tournament recently to coincide with the 2012 World Mental Health Day.

Coping Through Football is a scheme which promotes social inclusion by providing social and exercise opportunities using community resources.

It does not see itself as a football project but a social inclusion project that uses football as a tool to engage people who have experienced mental health problems.

Most of the players involved have experienced social exclusion, unemployment, poor physical and mental health and lack a social network or support, while the project aims to create a sustainable recovery model for one of society's most marginalised groups.

Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme run two sessions a week through the scheme, reaching people from throughout Waltham Forest, while the tournament also saw a team from Arsenal’s Community Programme travel across to take part.

On a keenly-contested afternoon of football, The Bears secured a 3-0 victory over The Winners in the final to take the honours, while O’s pair Scott Cuthbert and Lee Butcher were on hand to present the players with their medals.

O’s centre back Cuthbert said: “It was great to come down and hand out the awards to the players here today.

“This scheme is vitally important in helping those who have suffered social exclusion get back on track and restore confidence in themselves.

“Football is a great tool for bringing people together and helping them move forward and both myself and Lee were only too happy to lend our support here today.”

Coping Through Football is a scheme run by three lead organisations. The London Playing Fields Foundation, which is a charity working to provide and protect playing fields in London and promote the opportunities they offer to those who live and work in the capital.

The second organisation is the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT), which provides healthcare services for people living in the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham, and Havering.

It also manages community health services provided by NHS South West Essex Community Services.

And thirdly Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme, who hosted the tournament at the SCORE Centre.

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