Patients at St Andrew's in Essex are learning all about the beautiful game, thanks to a new partnership with Southend United Community & Educational Trust.
St Andrew’s provides specialist mental healthcare for patients with some of the most complex, challenging mental health needs in the UK. Activities that help the people in their care to get active and involved in the community are greatly beneficial to their recovery, as are opportunities to learn skills which will help them once they are discharged.
The partnership with Blues' Community has led to patients enjoying a 10-week coaching programme focusing on the basic fundamentals of football, from technical ability through to communications and team work.
On 10th February, the patients were given the opportunity to experience Roots Halls electric atmosphere, free of charge, as they watched Blues defeat Wigan Athletic 3-1.
Glenn Ellison, Sport and Exercise Therapist, explained: "The partnership has been a huge success and has provided our patients with an amazing opportunity and weekly physical exercise.
"The sessions provide a fun and therapeutic outlet as well as teaching our patients valuable life skills such as the importance of team work, positive social interaction and respect.
"The coaching course has been well attended and has created a positive atmosphere around the hospital.
I would like to thank the coaches of Southend United Community & Educational Trust for all of their hard work, and to Sara Templeton and the St Andrew's Occupational Therapy team for making this happen."
St Andrew’s Healthcare is passionate about encouraging patients to be more active, and get involved in sports and exercise.