Everton Support War Veterans
Ex-service personnel boosted by Blues' scheme.
Everton held an event for a group of ex-service personnel recently to mark Remembrance Sunday.
The Blues’ official charity, Everton in the Community, runs an exercise programme, known as Inside Right, for ex-service personnel who are at risk of developing or who have mental health problems.
The Everton programme is designed to support veterans who are at risk of becoming isolated once they have returned to civilian life, and is backed by leading military organisations including The Royal British Legion, Combat Stress, the RAF Benevolent Fund, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the MoD Veterans Challenge Fund alongside the Football Foundation and Comic Relief.
The participants took part in a football training event specially organised to mark Armistice Day to recognise the sacrifice of our brave servicemen and women from conflicts past and present, and the need to support our ex-service personnel community.
Research by the Centre for Suicide Prevention published in 2009, discovered that young ex-servicemen are particularly vulnerable. Of the 233,803 individuals who left the armed forces during the last five years, 224 took their own lives.
The Welfare Needs Survey, which was carried out by The Royal British Legion, also revealed that 36 per cent of respondents never leave their home, with 16 per cent citing isolation difficulties.
Working closely with the British Legion and Combat Stress, Inside Right not only promotes physical activity but also the chance to gain football coaching qualifications as well as wider training courses. The project also aims to harness the feel-good factor of playing football by creating opportunities to volunteer and compete in leagues and competitions, helping our troops to cope more effectively with the transition back into civilian life.
Jonathan Garside, mental health football co-ordinator for Everton in the Community, said: “The Inside Right programme is vitally important to help veterans integrate back into civilian life and will lead us to an increased understanding of the health and wellbeing among ex-military personnel.
“Everton work closely with the service charities to ensure ex-servicemen and women receive the help they need. It’s a unique partnership of organisations, all working towards supporting veterans.”
A participant of Inside Right, said: “Upon leaving the forces and returning back home I struggled to readjust to civilian life and didn’t cope well at all, but through the Inside Right project I have connected up with a great bunch of guys and I really enjoy playing football and having great banter with some like-minded veterans. It has fast become the highlight of my week.”
For more information or to sign up to the Inside Right programme, call 0151 530 5253.