Following on from World Mental Health Day which ran on Saturday, October 10, Leyton Orient will host its second Dementia Awareness and Mental Health event at their match against Oxford United on Saturday as the club, players, and staff continue their work to become one of London’s first dementia friendly football clubs.
Staff and volunteers from Alzheimer’s Society Waltham Forest will be on hand to provide information and advice on dementia and memory loss prior to kick off. The club have also invited people living with dementia and their carers to the match as special guests. For more information on how you can become a dementia friend, please visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk
In addition to our support of Dementia Friends and the Dementia Action Alliance, Leyton Orient Trust are part of a pioneering programme called ‘Coping Through Football’ which aims to support people experiencing mental health problems. This has become one of Leyton Orient Trust’s most enduring inclusion projects.
Beginning in 2007 the project is a successful partnership between the Leyton Orient Trust, NELFT, and London Playing Fields Foundation. The project was initially aimed at adults living in Waltham Forest experiencing mental health problems, but from this year expanded to cover the 4 North East London boroughs, so now includes Havering, Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham.
As part of the expansion of the project, CTF now runs specific sessions responding to the needs of younger people experiencing emotional and psychological issues.
The project has been successful in helping individuals with their recovery from mental ill health; supporting people to make more positive life choices, and better manage their health and wellbeing, with many participants of the project returning to education, voluntary and paid work.
One of the participants quoted: “One of the worst symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for me was the numbing of my emotions which causes a loss of interest in activities that I used to be extremely passionate about. Activities such as football…being able to participate with a group of decent people of all abilities has helped to reignite that passion and more excitement and meaning into my life.
"It has also been great to get some quality exercise. As well as improving my own football skills CTF has given me the opportunity to help and watch others improve theirs. This has also improved my social skills and helped me gain more confidence in myself and my ability to help others. Being involved with a group of decent people has also helped to restore my faith in humanity which has definitely been a major contributing factor to my recovery from PTSD. I would thoroughly recommend CTF to anyone else who experiences a mental health condition.”