Wingate & Finchley are hoping to transform the lives of people suffering from mental illness in the Ryman Premier club’s local community.
The Blues teamed up with the Football Supporters’ Federation through ‘Fans for Diversity’ and Swaggarlicious Ltd this week to launch the Wingate & Finchley FC Disabled Fans Forum.
Designed to promote an active, healthy and independent lifestyle for local adults and young people suffering from mental illness, the initiative will allow them to come together at The Maurice Rebak Stadium to cheer on their local club and enjoy the beautiful game in a safe place where they can be themselves.
With one in four people suffering mental illness in their lifetimes, often caused by a variety of factors such as bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, neglect and emotional, physical or sexual abuse, Swaggarlicious Ltd’s Manisha Tailor was inspired by her brother’s breakdown to tackle mental health issues by leaving the teaching profession to become a football coach at QPR’s academy.
Awarded an MBE for ‘Services to Football and Diversity in Sport’ for her efforts including soccer schools and initiatives like the Wingate & Finchley FC Disabled Fans Forum she’ll be running for the Blues, the campaigner, pictured, believes football can play a vital role in empowering those with mental illness and make a positive impact on their lives by through a sense of well-being and belonging.
Tailor said: “Engaging with those who have mental health is something personal and very important to me. I have seen the impact football can have on giving a sense of belonging to those with mental health.
“With the help of Fans for Diversity I think the Wingate & Finchley Disabled Fans Forum will change the lives of many and help those with mental health feel included within our society and most importantly, build a love for their local football club.”
To find out more, visit the project’s homepage at: http://swaggarlicious.com/football-mental-health.