Team Talk

George Friend smiles as he talks to members of Team Talk

Team Talk

The collapse of Redcar-based SSI in 2015 left more than 2,000 directly-employed staff without work and affected hundreds more in the supply chain. As a community it was important to the local area to work together and offer a unique project which could help support those affected by recent redundancies.

‘Team Talk’ was joint funded by Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Council along with additional support from Middlesbrough FC players who donated proceeds from their charity topless calendar. The proceeds went directly towards the programme, which significantly helped to launch and run Team Talk.

Team Talk is aimed at engaging males recently made redundant across Teesside, targeting mainly men aged 40+ who have been impacted by the recent closure of SSI Steelworks.

This model looked at engaging local champions in communities that would assist with tackling social isolation and loneliness by supporting individuals to maintain latent functions such as time structure during the day, continued shared experiences with others, goal setting and continuing to be active. It aims to build community resilience using evidence based mental health improvement interventions.

Empowerment is at the heart of the weekly meetings (called ‘Boot Rooms’) with participants being practical and proactive; aiming to help them to fulfill both group and individual goals. The most important feature of the boot rooms is that the members drive the agenda and activities.

The group have engaged in a number of activities including volunteering on Sporting Memories ’66 event at the Riverside Stadium, attending Newcastle Airport for fire safety training alongside talks on seasonal contracts and are also currently voluntarily renovating the environment surrounding their boot room hub site.

The group have received guest speakers from organisations such as Pension wise, Job Centre and National Careers Service, while they have also attended healthy eating workshops ran by Middlesbrough FC’s 1st Team Chef, as well as assisting in the running of the annual steel gala day at Redcar. Aside from this they have taken part in interviews and reports for BBC One, The Politics Show, The Northern Echo, The Evening Gazette and BBC Radio Tees.

Contact Claire on Claire.streeter@mfcfoundation.co.uk or call 01642 757674


Charlie Is A Coach To The Core

One day Charlie Morris hopes to run her own team but for now she’s happy putting in all the hours she can learning every day from the chance she has been given.

When we meet during one of her sessions across one of the many projects she works on with MFC Foundation, hoping to gain a Coach Core qualification, she is putting a group of around 30 girls aged between five and nine through a warm-up exercise at the Herlingshaw Centre in Eston.

“I’ve been there,” she says. “I started playing football when I was two, I can relate to where they are now. Some like football, some have no idea what to do, but we have fun. At this age, it is about them enjoying themselves. If they are, then that gives me confidence.

“When I was younger there was none of these courses, now there are a few.”

There is an acknowledgement that as a young woman she is in a minority in a sport still dominated by males. But, she says, that’s changing.

“There are not many opportunities for women in coaching right now, not compared to men. It’s changing now though, already I can see a difference after the Women’s World Cup and the netball World Cup.

“I largely work with girls, but I do coach boys too sometimes. Some boys tell me I don’t know what I’m doing, but I do. It’s very important to be given a chance to show what you can do and I’m grateful for that.

“I love football, I’m a Boro fan, one day I’d like to run my own team, run my own drills and training sessions.

“I wasn’t really good at school, not at English and Maths anyway, PE was the only thing I was good at so coaching seemed a good idea.

“I’ve had help along the way in the three or four years I’ve been coaching, I did it in college too. I learn from each of the coaches I work with or under, the good and bad bits!

“One day I hope I’ll be in a position to help other people who want to take the same route as me.”