Pan Disability Football, Growth in Opportunities & Respite.
A story by Glenrothes Strollers CC
We worked with grassroots clubs in the East of Scotland region to develop Para football sessions, allowing young people with various complex disabilities to engage in physical activity.
These sessions encouraged the young people to make friendships, improve social skills and their health. Carers benefited from regular structured respite.
What Pan Disability Football, Growth in Opportunities & Respite. did
We worked with clubs throughout Fife, Dundee, Angus and Perth and Kinross to grow the number of Para football activity to 16 weekly groups, regularly delivering fun footballing activities delivered to young people with various disabilities. The programme connected the activities to local communities to engage young people in their own areas and cut down on travel needed to attend groups.
To develop the programme we: supported local groups with training for coaches, identified opportunities for participation for young people with disabilities where there were none. Supported groups to become sustainable by helping grow groups to new players, ran weekly/bi-weekly activities to provided structured activity for players and regular structured respite for carers. Hosting all day football festivals and events providing extended hours of football activity for player and extended hours of respite for carers. Developing school holiday football camps to provided respite for carers during out of term times at schools.
The implementation of regular football festivals has been a success of the project. Teams from the East region have regularly come together to participate in these fun friendly festivals. The festivals have benefited young people by providing them with increased opportunities to play football resulting in increased time participating in physical activity, helping to make new friendships and increased self-confidence.
The festivals have also benefited carers by providing extended hours of respite allowing them to undertake tasks, spend time with their other children or have time to themselves. Working with partnerships organisations such as disability sport fife helped gain exposure for on going groups as well as the creation of new groups and helped the project go to plan.
What Glenrothes Strollers CC has learned
Working with other groups involving disabled young people has been a huge help to engage new families and help to grow sessions and spread word about them. A groups slow initial progress doesn’t mean failure of a group. Changing days or times can help to increase the numbers of people able to attend and help make a new group a success.
There is a huge benefit to having all the para football groups sitting around the one table and discussing their activities. This has helped new groups learn from established sessions and overcome problems. It has also help keep ideas fresh and a good discussion about best practice.
How Glenrothes Strollers CC has benefitted from the funding
Better Breaks funding has benefited us by helping to expand our project into more areas creating new groups and allowed us to engage more disabled young people and provide them a chance to take part in regular physical activity. Funding has helped increase the number of festivals meaning more opportunities to play football for both new and existing groups and extended hour of respite for carers. Our own reputation continues to grow as we help other sustain and create groups of their own. Our own groups continue to flourish, and our team once again won a trophy on the national level.
Children and young people with disabilities (aged 20 and under) will have more opportunities to have fun, develop friendships and do activities they enjoy and the project will allow access to regular fun football sessions will increase both physical and social skills.
16 regular fun football activities are being run in local communities throughout the region allowing young people with various disabilities to play football, develop friendships, improve communication and social skills and increase independence. Three clubs (Dundee West, Breadalbane & Scone Thistle) provided holiday programmes enabling carers to have extended respite time. Volunteers were supported with access to workshops and coach education.
Ms D from Perth cares for her son C who has always found it difficult to interact with children his age and struggled to make friends. Since joining the Letham group he has been able to make friends and enjoys playing football with them. At his recent birthday party everyone who attended was from the football team. She is delighted to see her son interacting with others and having fun and knowing that he is doing so whilst she has some time to herself.
Carers of children and young people with disabilities (aged 20 and under) will have more opportunities to enjoy a life outside of their caring role, have regular respite hours for parents and carers, increased respite time for parents and carers and increasing respite for new parents and carers.
This outcome was achieved through sustaining on going groups and the creation of new groups. Meaning regular respite hours for parents and carers and new sessions allowing respite for carers in areas where there was previously no opportunity. Regular festivals have allowed for increased hours of respite for carers.
Mr B from Perth said "When my son is away playing football with Letham, it gives me time to get some jobs done that would otherwise be difficult. It was previously difficult to get regular time to myself due to the care he needs. I enjoy watching him play and like to have the opportunity to see him having fun with his friends, and this something I didn’t think possible a short time ago"
Carers of children and young people with disabilities (aged 20 and under) will feel better supported to sustain their caring role. Strong communication with all carers to enable them to plan their own schedules. Increasing the number of opportunities for carers to received regular respite.
Achieved through regular surveys and feedback from parents and carers to ensure good communication. Additional football groups have ensured increased opportunities for carers to access respite.
Mr G from Lochgelly said "Since my son has started going along to Glenrothes Strollers I’ve been able to spend more time with my daughter. She also plays football with the club and I’ve been able to see more of her games at the weekend knowing N is at his football training with his own team" "They both love their football and its great to hear them talking about their experiences together and football has definitely brought them closer"
Children and young people with disabilities (aged 20 and under) and their carers will have improved wellbeing, providing regular physical activity will support and increase health and children and young people will become more active. Events will have a social impact on children and young people.
This has been achieved by children and young people with disabilities benefiting from improved health due to regularly taking part in physical activity. Increased opportunities to mix with others at weekly sessions, holiday camps or football events have allowed children to make new friendships and improve their social skills. Regular football groups allow carers to plan activates in advance that they want to do out with the caring.
Mrs G from Dundee said "My son F didn’t join in much sports before coming to Dundee West to play football. Now he loves it and can’t wait to get along and play." "The festivals have given him a chance to play against other which he really enjoys. Its good to see him and the team improving and mixing with others from different teams and staying active."
Additional project outcome
Creating a full pathway from children to youth to young adults within one para football section to support lifelong participation. Para football section becoming part of their local community football club.
Mr G from Glenrothes said "Our son M has always loved football but struggled to keep up with kids his age so has never been part of a team. Since finding out about the Glenrothes Strollers session we’ve been happy to see him taking part in a team and playing football with others. Having an older age group is great so he can play as he ages."