A football group for CAMHS patients in Forth Valley has scored a winner, lifting the regional SFA award for best community grassroots football. Their success will now take them forward to a national final.
Open to youngsters aged between 8 and 17, the project is a partnership between Falkirk Football Community Foundation and NHS Forth Valley. Players must be referred by a case manager and meet in Falkirk stadium every week where, after a warm-up on the main pitch, they learn skills such as ball control, shooting, dribbling, passing, crossing and penalties. Small-sided games are also arranged and there is a debrief from the dugout.
When play is in progress, a therapist can discuss with spectators activities and strategies which can be used at home.
Football Development Officer for the Falkirk Foundation, Dave Mackay, said: “We are hugely proud of our CAMHS partnership and football programme. We see the positive impact it can have on children’s lives and how it can offer a safe environment for them to thrive and have fun”.
Parents too have complimented the project, saying children with challenges often end up marginalised and excluded. The fact they are trained by real coaches makes them feel like stars, rather than kids who don’t get to take part in case they’re naughty.
Pictured: Pictured on the steps of Hampden are (left to right) Derek Allison, CEO Falkirk Foundation, Tracy Binnie NHS Forth Valley Occupational Therapist and Dave Mackay, Football Development Officer, Falkirk Foundation.