FC United Wellbeing Project
Back in February FC United’s community team started a project to enhance the wellbeing of people over 50 in North Manchester, particularly Newton Heath and Miles Platting. The basic premise was to recruit and train 20 volunteers and carry out home visits to vulnerable older people and to run match trips / luncheon clubs to help others to get out and meet new people.
A few successful trips were run last season as well as a trip to Airbus UK Broughton in pre-season (covered in the Chasetown programme). Since then the project has started to grow quickly and successfully as we move towards the end of the year.
We have exceeded the target of 20 volunteers and more are coming through all the time. They have been put through training, including three days at the Manchester Communication Academy in Harpurhey. We now have seven people that are visited on a regular basis and we provided a service for another woman whilst her usual visitor was away. There are others who have expressed an interest and word is spreading very quickly about what we are doing. The service has been described as “an absolute godsend” for the area and we hope it will grow even more in the future.
The trips themselves have also become more successful with a regular group of people now coming on each trip. Four luncheon clubs have taken place since the Airbus game, one of which involved those who use the service in the planning of future events.
One trip was run to the home match against Chester. We were very kindly accommodated by the Moston Miners Community Centre before the match who put on a lovely meal and made everyone feel very welcome. Despite the result itself, everyone enjoyed the day and the game and were keen to come again.
A few weeks later we ran another trip, this time to Stocksbridge. Prior to the game we stopped off at restaurant called The Huntsman Inn, just outside Holmfirth. The food was superb and the staff were really friendly and welcoming. The weather put paid to plans to have a quick stop off in Holmfirth itself, so we headed straight to the ground. Despite the disappointing result, everyone still enjoyed the game, particularly the atmosphere created by the travelling supporters.
A couple of weeks later the bus was out yet again headed to Worksop and we decided to stop at The Huntsman again on the way down. Once more they did not let us down and the feedback from everyone was great.
Thankfully, just as we were starting to think these trips could be a jinx on the team, our persistence was rewarded as we finally saw a superb win from the lads to top the day off nicely. I had a drink with three blokes from the trip when we got back, all of whom are now Members of the club. It just goes to show how much they now feel at home with FC United.
Two further trips are planned before Christmas for the home fixtures on the 3rd and 10th of December. The idea being that it will be advertised as an opportunity for people to do their Christmas shopping in Bury Market before the match. We will of course be providing the food and transport again and no doubt the trips will be as big a success as previous outings.
If you know of anyone over the age of 50 who would be interested in either the trips out or the Good Neighbours Scheme then please contact the office and ask for either Robin Pye or Michael Holdsworth.
26-11-2011 at 18:50