Left to right Barry John (All Stars), Declan John (CCFC).Thursday, 17 July 2014
The power of football helps in recovery of mental health service users
Following on from an inspiring programme called “Football Madness and Me” a group of staff and service users from across the Mental Health Rehabilitation services came together to set up a football group, with the aim of establishing a team to play locally.
Cwm Taf University Health Board is fully aware of physical activity and physical wellbeing being paramount in the recovery of those with a serious enduring mental illness.
The aim was for the players to participate in a game that would give them confidence, learn new skills, have fun, become physically fitter, develop friendships, promote social inclusion and enhance their personal recovery.
As the team became established it was invited to enter the Street Football Valley’s League. (Street Football is a social inclusion charity whose focus is supporting vulnerable groups such as those who are homeless, have a substance misuse and/or mental illness).
In December 2013 the Cwm Taf Group ‘ The All Stars’ came runners-up in the Street Football of Wales League finals and followed this initial success by winning the Dean Hickey Memorial Cup in March 2014.
The All Stars now play weekly at Ystrad Sports Centre and play in the Street Football Valleys League monthly in the Engine House in Merthyr Tydfil.
On June 15, 2014 the All Stars held their very first presentation evening which was attended by over 25 service users and many more friends and family in support.
The presentation was conducted by Declan John, Cardiff City Football Club’s Young Player of the Year 2014, who rewarded the players’ commitment and success with individual trophies.
footy 4 035.jpgOn July 12, 2014, the Street Football Wales Team was selected.
Barry John, one of the All Stars players and service user was selected to represent Wales in the Street Football World Cup Chile in October 2014.
Mark Abraham, Senior Nurse Rehabilitation at the Health Board said: “Mental illness affects many aspects of a person’s life.
“Recovery v Football has provided an opportunity for staff and patients to work collaboratively, laying the foundations for individual recovery.”