The Clyde FC Community Foundation, in partnership, is continuing its support of Get Onside in 2016.
This programme is open to adults with severe and enduring mental health issues, as well as those with learning difficulties, who have a love of football. The project is delivered with Ceartas and Heartfelt Ltd and supported through funding from the Scottish Football Partnership and the Scottish Government’s Right to Transition Fund.
The project is delivered to around 20 adults over a seven week period and sees participants enjoy a two and a half hour session once a week, sometimes accompanied by their care workers who are also able to participate.
Each session is essentially a 'Game of Two Halves', the first of which takes part in the classroom with discussions centred around a particular theme such as decision making, teamwork, advocacy and self-directed support, better communication skills and good lifestyle choices. These sessions are designed to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere where individuals are encouraged to express themselves, talk openly as part of a class or in smaller groups on what steps could be taken to improve their lives – an important feature of each session is the use of humour and fun as a way of creating a safe and relaxed atmosphere where participants feel respected and are treated as individuals. The second half takes place on the football pitch with drills and fun activities and the football coach is also involved in class sessions to act as a link between the workshops and the football activities.
The Clyde FC Community Foundation hopes to use its previous experience to develop the course and become less reliant on professionals, by involving previous participants and volunteers in the running of future sessions. Preparatory training courses and post training support has also been provided.
Gordon Thomson, club director and trustee of the Clyde FC Community Foundation said: "We believe that Get Onside is a start for the club and not a finish. People can become active citizens, community leaders, peer mentors and sport coaches and we are extremely keen to work in partnership with the Get Onside trainers to develop these additional outcomes.
"The difference to the lives of the participants has been tangible, from a group of individuals who didn’t communicate. to a team sharing banter, wearing a strip that united them and growing in confidence and resilience."
That view is also shared by Barry Ferguson, who has been a consistent supporter of this programme and is featured in this short film about Get Onside:
Other benefits include:-