Football activity sessions complemented by mental health support are to be delivered by Oxford United in the Community and Oxfordshire Mind, thanks to a government grant.
The football club’s official charity has been awarded £2,380 by the Football Foundation as part of its vision to help clubs, organisations and charities resume grassroots football amid an easing of lockdown restrictions.
Funds will be used to launch a series of weekly sessions which will begin on Friday, July 16, from 10:00 – 12:00 at Easington Sports Football Club in Banbury. Sessions are free to attend and open to women aged 16 to 30.
Oxford United in the Community’s partnership with Oxfordshire Mind will provide a safe and supportive environment for participants to build confidence, increase self-esteem and make new connections with like-minded people.
Colin Williams, Premier League Kicks and Youth Services Coordinator, said: “The Return to Football Fund will be a great help in supporting the growth of football opportunities and mental health support for women.
“We look forward to working in partnership with Easington Sports FC and Oxfordshire Mind on this community project and hope it will have a positive impact on people participating now and in the future.”
Chris Lowes, Head of Oxford United in the Community, added: “We’re pleased to partner with Oxfordshire Mind and Easington Sports and look forward to delivering football activity and mental health support sessions.
“This is an exciting development in our vision to expand engagement countywide as part of our strategy to provide every person with a positive connection with the football club through our community programmes.
“I would encourage anyone interested in attending the sessions who is eligible to book their spot now to avoid disappointment.”
The Football Foundation champions and supports fair access to quality football facilities for everyone and is the largest sports charity in the UK.
It is funded by the Premier League, Football Association and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport via Sport England.
Its £2.1m Return to Football fund will support clubs in the highest areas of deprivation in England to support the return of football and activities aimed at bringing new players to the game.
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “This grant to Oxford United in the Community that supports participation opportunities is vital to the local community.
“Our Return to Football fund is supporting clubs across the country, helping them to kick-start our national game locally and try to recover from the effects of COVID-19.
“This is part of our wider ambition to transform our grassroots game and unlock the power of football pitches, something we hope to get back to in full force as restrictions are lifted.”
Oxford United in the Community helps inspire people to live happier and healthier lives in better connected communities using the power of football. Last year it engaged with over 2,500 people in Oxfordshire.
The charity partnered with Easington Sports earlier this year as part of its new strategy ‘Oxfordshire – A Community United’ which will strengthen the delivery of social impact programmes across the county.
To register for one of the charity’s supportive football sessions, please email [email protected]. Further information is also available via: Oxford United in the Community | Charity, Programmes, Courses (ouitc.org).
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