Leyton Orient Trust held host to an inter-borough football tournament to celebrate World Mental Health day recently on the Score centre 3G pitch in Oliver Road. Led by staff from the Coping Through Football project, the competition saw four teams from different boroughs in East London compete including three from Waltham Forest and one from Redbridge.
The event was supported by Leyton Orient first team players Ollie Palmer and Sean Clohessy. They talked to the players as well as engaging in some challenges set to them by the teams and at the culmination, presented the medals to the two teams that competed in the final as well as two special trophies awarded at the end of competition to the player of the tournament and a Fair Play award.
The Coping Through Football project is run by three lead organizations; The London Playing Fields Foundation (LPFF), NHS Foundation Trust and Leyton Orient Trust.
These three foundations all work together to deliver best service. The LPFF’s main aim is to get more people playing sport, especially those who have been excluded from mainstream sport. The NHS provides community health care service and invites the actual service users. While Leyton Orient Trust is aimed at helping young people develop skills and confidence to take into everyday life, as well as providing excellent coaching staff to the project.
The project was set up in 2007 as a way to engage with and improve the lives of people experiencing mental health issues. So far the project has won the UEFA Grassroots Award in 2014 and was voted Community Project of the Year at London Football Awards 2015.
Alex Welsh, Chief Executive of LPFF, said; “Today is about celebrating World Mental Health Week, which isn't about football really, it’s about getting peoples life back on track.
“The main aim of the project is to provide a ‘recovery model’ for people who have not had the best of luck in terms of mental health. It provides them with the means of; improving physical fitness, increasing their confidence and self-esteem, helping them to communicate and interact with others, and helping them to lead more independent lives.
“Coping Through Football is providing people with the experience of a real community setting as well as having a continuity of coaches, staff, and training facilities week by week. This is providing consistency to their lives, where they will always receive first class football coaching which is often used as an escape mechanism to the real world.”
As a major project within East London, Coping Through Football provides six coaching sessions per week for both adults and teenagers. Last year it helped more than 2800 people reach the football project and get the support and confidence they need to help them in their everyday lives.
If you would like more information on CTF, please contact Sonia Smith, Occupational Therapist, Waltham Forest Access & Assessment Team, Coping Through Football Project Co-ordinator, 26 Low Hall Lane, Walthamstow E17 8BE Tel: 0300 555 1242 ext. 8471 or Howard Gould at the club on 0208 556 5973 and check out the website www.copingthroughfootball.org plus website stories on www.leytonorient.com