As part of its long term strategy, regular workshops are offered by the multi award winning mental health and social inclusion project - Coping Through Football.
Alongside regular tournaments and the six practical sessions delivered each week, the workshops are designed to help inspire and educate the users in a variety of healthy living topics.
Alongside the London Playing Fields Foundation (LPFF) and the Leyton Orient Trust (LOT), the local NHS North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) are an integral partner and staff have been leading on these specalist subjects since the project started more than five years ago.
In late January, Stephen Ashelford from the NELFT Stop Smoking Service led a smoking cessation session at the London Marathon Playing Fields facility in Redbridge adjacent to the Powerleague in Fairlop where four of the weekly practical sessions take place. Nearly 20 participants were in attendance and received information and advice as well as graphic evidence of how smoking can be extremely detremental to health.
This was recently followed by Blessings Ncube from the Oliver Road Polyclinic facilitating an HIV and sexual awareness workshop held in the Score Leisure Centre in Leyton. The attendees gleaned important information and advice from Blessings, an HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist from NELFT, who commented, “Coping Through Football is a brilliant initiative so thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the wonderful work that you are doing”.
One of the attendees commented: “I found the facts really interesting and informative. I think it’s great that there is such a project that offers so much including all the football which I look forward to every week."
Later in the year, Sonia Smith, NELFT Occupational Therapist and CTF project co-ordinator, will be repeating a session on healthy eating and nutrition and as a treat, the club (Leyton Orient) has offered the group use of the Matchroom Stadium pitch for a session now the season has ended, enhancing the solidarity and support between all the partners.
If you would like more information on Coping Through Football please view the website www.copingthroughfootball.org or contact Sonia Smith, Occupational Therapist and project co-ordinator on 0300 555 1242 ext 8471.