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Foundation Teams Up With NHS Lanarkshire

NHS Lanarkshire has teamed up with Clyde FC Community Foundation in a new weekly training programme targeted at people with mental health challenges. A number of people have signed up for this programme which is being delivered every Wednesday afternoon at Broadwood. Using the power of football to create a lasting change this weekly programme will help people cope better with mental health issues and create a healthier lifestyle.

Clinical healthcare nurse support worker Martin Tobin said: “The community mental health team works with people from the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area. We are delighted when Clyde FC Community Foundation said they would help set up a football team and give us the opportunity to train using the fantastic facilities at Broadwood. Football is a great way to help people recover from or cope better with mental health issues. It’s something enjoyable for the lads to do and regular exercise really helps if people are feeling low or anxious. It can give people more energy too.”

Tobin continued: “Joining in an activity can be very rewarding – it makes people feel valued and gives them a chance to widen their social circle. Once the men’s group is established we hope to set up a women’s team as well.”

The training sessions are led by the Community Development Manager, Tom Elliott. Tom has over 20 years’ experience in grassroots football and has worked with many SPFL clubs delivering community programmes over that time, including Falkirk, Morton and Hibs. Elliott also played football professionally at Partick Thistle and Stenhousemuir before travelling to America which started him on his passion for grassroots football allowing everyone, no matter age or ability, the chance to enjoy playing football.

Elliott said: “I’ve seen first-hand programmes like this work at senior clubs and we recently delivered a Get Onside programme in partnership with Ceartas and Heartfelt which ran here before the summer. It’s great to see the guys each week and the buzz they get from playing a match at Broadwood. Everyone should be given the opportunity to connect with their local football club and here at Clyde we have a great recently joined up with See Me, the national programme to end mental health discrimination.”

Among those who joined in was Hugh, a 39-year-old Clyde supporter from Condorrat. Hugh has had bipolar disorder for a number of years. He said: “I love football so l’m really enjoying this. It’s good to get the exercise and to get out and about to take part in a healthy activity.”

Hugh is among those with mental health issues who have taken part in football tournaments which promote the awareness around suicide. The most recent, held last month, was supported by Clyde when Barry Ferguson and Bob Malcolm attended. It’s hoped the new team will soon be ready to play in future events sporting the Clyde strip.