24 July 2013
A sporting victory for social inclusion
The Salisbury Saxons - Wiltshire early intervention's
very own football team - have been honoured by the Wiltshire
The Saxons - made up of service users, their
siblings, plus the odd staff member - were awarded the 'fair play
award' at last Wednesday's final of the Wiltshire FA social
inclusion league cup, in which they have been playing for the last
Twelve teams took part in the league, each representing
organisations involved with socially excluded young people. The
Salisbury Saxons is the only mental health team in the league and
the only one without input from semi-professional players.
The league brings young people together, builds their confidence
and encourages them to join a local mainstream football club, all
with the aim of helping them to move on and become more
independent. The Saxons won the fair play award for consistently
playing football with the best spirit, lending players to other
teams and embracing social inclusion.
Adam Greaney, Wiltshire football development officer, commented,
"AWP's early intervention service has ticked all the boxes on what
this league was designed to do. I have been really impressed with
the improvement of their play and they were one of the only teams
to beat the eventual winners. That was an amazing achievement as
the winning team plays football everyday".
Simon Hall, Wiltshire early intervention team manager, said,
"Over the six months of the league the Saxons have had 20 players
as, during that time, many have been able to start or return to
studies, employment or voluntary work. This really highlights the
benefit of taking part in this kind of project.
"Individuals who have been really nervous about starting
voluntary work have met other players taking part in the same
voluntary projects and have lost their concerns, knowing there will
be familiar friendly faces when they start their placements. A few
of our players have even returned to mainstream clubs they
previously belonged to, which is incredibly encouraging.
"Phil Enness and Rik Stout from Wiltshire early intervention led
on this project and linked it with our vocational programme, led by
Paul Graves. The Beechlydene ward team were great, working
proactively with us to support inpatients linking in with community
services. And we couldn't have done it without Nando Rossi from the
recovery team, who contributed his level 2 coaching knowledge and
led all the drills, warm up and warm down routines. Nando brought
along recovery service users, who integrated really well and grew
in confidence. Some have since started college courses and one has
been asked to join a number of other teams!
"The future is bright: we're building stronger links with
Wiltshire FA with plans for a female only football fitness
programme in Salisbury as part a new social inclusion
Photos are on Facebook of the Salisbury Saxons in
action at the league final in Chippenham on 17 July.