Chorley FC Community Foundation have a new Social Inclusion Football Team that will be representing them in the Social Inclusion Football League (SIFL) for the 2019/2020 season thanks to support from local business owners.
Chorley FC’s new Inclusion team will join clubs from Health and Social Care organisations across Lancashire and their service users. This includes Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Supported Living, Leaving Care, Homelessness and the Asylum Seeker & Refugee Community.
The team representing Chorley FC has grown out of the Community Foundation’s weekly “Blokes United” sessions. Blokes United invites men to meet up to play football and then return to Victory Park to enjoy drinks and refreshments, and share their problems and support each other.
Project Lead Vinnie Thompson said “We use football as a tool to break down the stigma of poor mental health, social isolation or to bring together communities. Whether it’s about improving fitness, wanting to be around others or simply having people to talk to, we welcome you to come and join us”.
Darren Jenkinson, Chair of Chorley FC Community Foundation added “Support from local businesses has been key to the development of the team. It was important to find businesses who wanted to support a mental health project over a pure football project, and both Stand Out Stories and Magma Digital matched that criteria perfectly”
Blokes United meets every Wednesday night at Parklands High School at 8pm, before returning to Victory Park at 9pm for drinks and snacks. Players of any ability and any age are welcome to just turn up and play for a £2 donation.
Stand Out Stories Owner Ben Stout said “I attended one of the Blokes United sessions as a participant and was immediately impressed with the support and comradery I saw. Supporting this project was a no-brainer”
Magma Digital’s Kirstin Cott added “Magma Digital has a very strong CSR ethos embedded in the agency and so when the opportunity to become a shirt sponsor for such a worthy team; whose passion and dedication to supporting one another came up, we had to jump at the chance. It is a wonderful initiative from Chorley FC and so important that inclusivity is key, playing as one team together and we wish them all the very best for the season ahead.”