Love of the game will help transform people’s lives

Brighton and Hove Albion striker Craig Mackail-Smith [centre] with participants from the Arun Emotional Wellbeing Project at a five-a-side tournament on World Mental Health Day to mark the launch of the project.
Brighton and Hove Albion striker Craig Mackail-Smith [centre] with participants from the Arun Emotional Wellbeing Project at a five-a-side tournament on World Mental Health Day to mark the launch of the project.

A PROJECT which uses the love of football to change people’s lives for the better will kick off in Bognor Regis.

Albion Goals, an Albion in the Community-led initiative, uses the sport to help motivate participants to improve areas of their lives including health, confidence, job-finding skills and relationships.

The scheme has come to the district thanks to funding from the wellbeing service, provided by Arun District Council, West Sussex County Council and NHS West Sussex.

Mark Slide, from Albion in the Community, said: “The project aims to create a fun atmosphere and encourage physical activity, followed by a ‘team talk’ when advice will be offered on health, education, employment and courses.

“Our aim is to get people fit and help them feel good about themselves, which 
will hopefully lead them to make a positive contribution to life.”

Cllr Paul Wotherspoon, Arun’s cabinet member for community development, said: “Arun wellbeing was seeking to commission schemes which highlight emotional wellbeing to reduce isolation and 
increase confidence, and Goals in the Community certainly does that.

“This fantastic scheme has proved it can change people’s lives for the better.

“It’s a really good way of getting people to engage in the way that other support agencies sometimes struggle to do.”

Pilot sessions are 
already being held at Southfields Recreation Ground in Littlehampton every Wednesday from 
11am-1pm, and sessions in Bognor are due to be introduced soon.

Places are limited to 20 per session but home study coursework is also available. For more information, contact Mark on 07821 466471.