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Clyde Plays Part in ‘Get Onside’

Wednesday witnessed the final session of ‘Get Onside’ – a ground-breaking community initiative involving Clyde FC, which was funded by the Scottish Government via the Shine Partnership.

Get Onside was a 9-week course that combined learning about introduction of Self Directed Support and discussing what makes a good life for individuals who have used mental health services.

The Bully Wee teamed up with Ceartas, an independent advocacy service, and Heartfelt, a service user led training and consultancy company, to deliver the course. Each afternoon was very much a game of two halves – the first half involved training sessions on leadership, dealing with stigma, working as a team, independent advocacy and accessing self-directed support. The second half was outside, for some coaching and small sided games with Clyde manager Barry Ferguson and assistant manager Bob Malcolm.

Heartfelt director David Douglas commented, “Get Onside showed what big differences can be made with some small, simple steps; treating people with decency, thinking differently and imagining better. It was a privilege to be part of it.

Gordon Thomson, CEO of Ceartas added, “It was fantastic to see the course develop and witness at first hand the difference it made to individuals. Through SDS people are getting the chance to decide how their care is organised but we were aware that individuals needed the confidence and the encouragement to actually take control and this course, in partnership with Clyde FC, filled a crucial gap. 

Barry neatly summed up a key outcome of the course: “I remember in the first week only a few people spoke and the guys avoided eye contact, but bit by bit the lads grew in confidence. By the end they chatted away, were proud to wear their training kits and of course were not shy at tackling me or Bob on the pitch!”

Gordon concluded, “It has been a real team effort on and off the park and our thanks go to our colleagues from EDC and ED CHP and East Dunbartonshire’s Leisure Trust, who have all been really supportive of the project from day one. We will now look to repeat the course in 2015.”