Chelsea Legend John Hollins presents LPFF with UEFA Award

Anonymous 19 June 2014

On Wednesday 18th June, Chelsea legend John Hollins presented the LPFF with a UEFA Award for its Coping Through Football project.

This groundbreaking project which helps people with significant mental health problems to get their lives back on track was recognised by UEFA as part of its Grassroots Awards as a shining example of how football can be used to improve the lives of one of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised groups.

The project has just received additional funding from the Dr Mortimer & Theresa Sackler Foundation and Wembley National Stadium Trust to expand into the London boroughs of Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham and also target teenagers experiencing the onset of mental illness.

Chief Executive of London Playing Fields Foundation Alex Welsh said:

“We are delighted with this UEFA award which recognises two things. Firstly, the role that community playing fields can play in transforming the lives of even the most disadvantaged of groups; and secondly, the importance of innovative partnership working in delivering sports projects that have huge additional health and social benefits”

Barbara Armstrong, Lead for Social Inclusion and Joint Lead Occupational Therapist from NELFT who has overseen the expansion of the Coping Through Football project, said:

“NELFT is committed to delivering services that are recovery-focussed and promote social inclusion. It is fantastic that Coping Through Football, which has helped so many people with their recovery from mental health problems, has been recognised by UEFA.

Within mental health it is recognised that there is no ’benchmark’ of what someone's recovery should look like or how quickly someone needs to achieve their goals.  This has been key to the success of Coping Through Football in realising the potential of those individuals using our services.”