Extra Life

Stewart Downing and Ben Gibson pose with a yellow Extra Life poster in the club kit room

Football fans know all about extra time, but Boro supporters will soon be talking Extra Life thanks to a new health initiative. Middlesbrough Football Club has signed up to the ‘healthy settings’ scheme, which works within organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff and service users. As well as targeting Middlesbrough FC and Foundation employees, the scheme will be rolled out to Boro fans across the region, and all visitors to the club’s facilities.

Developed by Public Health at Middlesbrough Council, the initiative works by identifying the specific health needs within a setting; and implementing lasting health improvement and population behaviour change.

In this instance, the findings of Extra Life have been used to shape the objectives of future health projects implemented by MFC Foundation, the official charitable arm of Middlesbrough FC, in their work with Boro fans, as well as encouraging both club and Foundation staff to lead healthier lives.

Michael James, Middlesbrough FC’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “Middlesbrough Football Club is committed to improving the health of people on Teesside, from our own staff to the wider community of Boro fans. We’re delighted to join the Extra Life drive, which provides an invaluable opportunity to tailor our efforts and make significant strides together with our supporters.”

Middlesbrough suffers from poor health outcomes and a high number of people dying early from preventable illnesses. Factors including smoking, poor diet and a lack of physical activity all contribute to this, and the club are keen to target and work to meet these needs.

Helena Bowman, Head of MFC Foundation, said: “MFC Foundation already delivers strong health projects in our community, but Extra Life will enable us to shape what we are doing around the needs of the Boro fans. We believe this project will help us to provide the most meaningful and impactful campaigns, where they are most needed.”
The most recent research suggests an estimated 131 million days are lost to sickness absence each year in the UK, while up to 50% of health and wellbeing is thought to be determined by social factors and the environment in which people live and work. This in turn has an impact on productivity, a major stumbling block for rebuilding the economy locally and nationally. For more information about Extra Life, please visit www.extralifesettings.co.uk

We’re All In This Together

Here at MFC Foundation we are continuing to do what we do best. Helping our community.

In light of strict  guidelines set out by the Government on Monday 23 March, we’re doing what we can in these most testing of times for so many people.

All community support in Middlesbrough is being coordinated by Middlesbrough Council’s #HELPBORO scheme. If support is required and it is safe to do so, we will assist the Council in providing support to the vulnerable and elderly.

For further information of the #HELPBORO campaign please visit middlesbrough.gov.uk/helpboro or call 01642 729777.

Where absolutely essential we’re continuing to support the schools we work in with delivery, however our activities will mainly take the form of online support, working with schools to provide resources for young people to take part in, in the safety of their own home.

Working alongside Middlesbrough Football Club, we will help make contact with all elderly and vulnerable Season Card holders, ensuring they are aware of the services they have available to support them, while at the same time ensuring at least weekly contact via telephone and other means, with all our elderly and vulnerable participants.

More and more people are being encouraged to socially isolate, so each day at midday we are posting via our social media channels. The post may be a simple message, it may be a quiz, a challenge, an activity, a resource that can be used by young and old, photos or links to something you may find useful. So far, we have encouraged a one-touch wallball game and tested your football (and emoji) knowledge.

On Monday evening our Football Fans in Training participants took part in an online physical activity session, continuing to support their drive to become more physically active.

Beginning next week, we aim to begin the distribution of virtual activities, open for our younger participants. These are currently being created.

Out in East Cleveland our Team Talk members are staying in touch through virtual means, we’re continuing to set challenges for our Couch to 5k participants and MasterChef quarter-finalist Matei Baran is to send video recipe/instruction clips that can be passed onto participants on our Kitchen Therapy project. We will also be supporting schools with distribution of free school meals to children and families who urgently need them.

More will come in the days and weeks ahead as we react and adapt to the needs of our community.

We’re all in this together and MFC Foundation will strive to continue to be at the very heart of our community, supporting those who need our help.