Red Sky Foundation, Grassroots Football, and NWFA will give away five defibrillators to walking football…
The ethos of walking football is to bring people, especially those in marginalised groups, together – and why the NWFA decided to approach Skills for People.
Based in the North East, Skills for People supports people with autism and learning difficulties by offering support and opportunities. After speaking with the charity, the NWFA decided that walking football was a fun activity for people who use Skills for People to socialise and be active.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the confidence that group members built over the 8 sessions,” says Skills for People support worker Erin Schuler.
“The change in people from the first to the last session is amazing to see. People who were unsure about kicking a ball in the first session were confidently playing a full game, scoring goals, and supporting their teammates by the last session.”
The sessions have been ran by NWFA coaches Steve Sanderson and Steven Hill.
Described by Erin as “fantastic and inclusive,” the coaches made sure that “players were always treated with respect and dignity.”
“The attitude of the coaches was consistently positive and upbeat which set the tone for the group,” she explains.
A supporter worker at the games said:
“(the person) looks forward to it, not just on the day but through the week. It can be hard to motivate him for other things but this is something he loves to do. He really looks forward to seeing everyone.”
“It has been great to see people who may in other settings struggle with confidence feeling assured and confident on the football pitch,” enthuses Erin.
In a bid to bring together and create as many communities as possible, the NWFA has decided to push for more sessions to be made available for similar organisations in the area.
The NWFA encourages anyone to get in touch and use the power of walking football to make a difference in someone’s day-to-day.