A local disability group were guests of honour at the Riverside Stadium last week, invited to pitch-side for their home game against Charlton by the Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation.
The special day marked the end of a fantastic 20-week training course from the MFC Foundation to the group, who attend Tees Alive – a day support service that provides training, opportunities and activities for adults with learning disabilities in Billingham. Tees Alive is part of one of the UK’s largest health and social care charities, Community Integrated Care.
The group at Tees Alive have been delighted to welcome Claire Streeter and James Woodhouse from the Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, who have been delivering the training sessions every Friday. With most of the group lifelong ‘Boro fans, this has been a dream come true for many – with the trip to The Riverside the perfect culmination.
The weekly sessions – funded by the FA – have seen the people supported at Tees Alive develop their football abilities and fitness, with sessions also focussing on confidence and teamwork skills. With each session ending with a 5-a-side match, and even the Tees Alive staff team getting involved, the group have relished showing their competitive sides too!
The Middlesbrough FC Foundation is the club’s official charity and uses passion for football to make a real difference to the lives of local children, young people and families. Every year the Foundation works with more than 20,000 people across a number of sports, health, education and youth projects. Their work with Tees Alive has inspired the group to pursue their interest in football, even joining a local league!
MFC Foundation’s Disability Coordinator, Claire Streeter says: “Since attending Tees Alive on a Friday morning we have been astonished by the progress made by the group. We have seen a huge improvement in confidence, communication and all round football ability during the past 20 weeks.”
“For us, taking these sessions have become the highlight of our week due to the enthusiasm and dedication of the group and we already can’t wait for them to showcase their new football skills, with them now affiliating a team to the local league.”
Stuart Dryden, Community Integrated Care’s Regional Manager for the North East, says: “The impact of these sessions on the group has been phenomenal. The Middlesbrough FC Foundation have given the group an incredible opportunity to develop really useful skills while having a great time.”
“This is the third time that we’ve worked in partnership with Middlesbrough Football Club in recent years, and as usual, it has been a delight. The visit to the Riverside was truly a day to remember for everyone involved, and I’d like to extend our sincere thanks to the team for all they have done.”
About Community Integrated Care
Community Integrated Care is one of the UK’s largest health and social care charities. It supports over 5000 people across England and Scotland with learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism and age-related needs, such as dementia. Find out more at www.c-i-c.co.uk