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Football-based mental health project wins UEFA award

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A pioneering project designed to help people with mental health problems in the UK has been recognised as a “shining example of how football can be used to improve lives” by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

Coping Through Football uses football as a means of improving physical health, increasing self-esteem and confidence and enhancing social skills of people with significant mental health problems.

The initiative offers people who have been marginalised from society by their mental illness the opportunity to take part in regular football coaching sessions in a safe and welcoming environment. The intention is for the sessions to become part of the participants’ weekly routine, re-introducing them into society by establishing strong friendships which extend beyond the football pitch.

The results have been described as “stunning”, with 44 per cent of participants in the project’s Phase 1 going on to training, education, volunteering or employment. UEFA gave the programme a Grassroots Awards in recognition of the impact it has made in improving lives.

The project is currently delivered in four north east London boroughs by the London Playing Fields Foundation in partnership with North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) and Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme (LOCSP).

For more information on the Coping Through Football Project, click here.

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A pioneering project designed to help people with mental health problems in the UK has been recognised as a “shining example of how football can be used to improve lives” by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
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