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A session at Score Centre

Project coordinator Sonia Smith with the CTF participants

A session at Score Centre

Coping Through Football

enjoys an afternoon on the Leyton Orient FC pitch

Matchroom Stadium

CTF receives UEFA grassroots award

John Hollins presents the certificate to project partners

UEFA award

Wembley National Stadium Trust

supports the next phase of CTF

Cheque presentation

Five-a-side match

in the shadows of the Olympic Stadium

Champions Festival 2013

Champions Festival 2011

CTF group with the Champions League trophy

Champions Festival 2011

Welcome to Coping Through Football

Coping Through Football is a transformational project that demonstrates how two sporting charities, London Playing Fields Foundation and Leyton Orient Trust, can work with the NHS (in the shape of NELFT) to produce a sustainable recovery model approach to engage with and improve the wellbeing of adults and young people experiencing mental health issues.

The project shows how sport can:

• help tackle stigma and discrimination
• can work together with the health sector on shared agendas to reduce inequalities
• be a tool for engagement with hard to reach groups
• assist in the recovery of those with mental ill health

The aim is to use the football experience to get fitter, increase levels of self-esteem and confidence, make new friends and ultimately to help people get their lives back on track. We do not see ourselves as a football project but a social inclusion project that uses football as a tool to engage people who have experienced mental health problems. Most of our players have experienced social exclusion, unemployment, poor physical and mental health and lack a social network or support and Coping Through Football sets out to address these issues.

The project has been extremely successful in helping players to turn their lives around and to live more independently. It has been recognised by the Department of Health as a model of best practice in the recovery of people with long term mental health problems and our goal is to increase the number of people who benefit.

We have had many success stories, our players attend the project for a variety of reasons and want to achieve a variety of goals depending on the individual. Most want to improve their fitness and health, make more friends or achieve a vocational goal.