Think With Your Feet

Participants in Middlesbrough FC kits huddle up for a team talk

Football is increasingly being recognised as a valuable tool for practical mental health therapy, and MFC Foundation is very much at the forefront of this endeavour.

MFC Foundation’s ‘Think with Your Feet’ mental health football sessions have rapidly expanded since they began in February 2015 and this is mainly due to the ever growing partnership with MIND and their ‘Get set to go project’ which refers service users into our weekly football sessions.

As well as weekly football session participants are also given the opportunity to represent MFC Foundation in national competitions ran by similar initiatives at other football clubs.

The team, currently ranked 1st in the country after winning the National Mental Health Championships hosted by Everton in the Community, have won a range of silverware this year after wins in Northampton, Derby and Rotherham. Alongside this a group of participants were lucky enough to go to Munich, thanks to fundraising and sponsors, and compete in the EASI-Regenbogen-Cup which they also won in extra time.

The impact of the sessions goes above and beyond keeping fit and playing football.

“Not so long ago, I tried to kill myself and was also harming myself. Now, through football and MFC Foundation’s football team I can see a point to my life. I enjoy spending time there and have made loads of friends. All the lads and the coaches are superb, I love playing with MFC Foundation – I love the Boro, but not as much as the Boro loves me.” – Think With Your Feet participant

We also hold an annual Social Inclusion tournament, which this year alongside Everton’s National Championships, was the joint biggest tournament in the UK attracting teams from as far as Carlisle and Wrexham.

If you would like to know more, please email claire.streeter@mfcfoundation.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.