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Posted on Feb 15 2018 by Bobbie Kelly

St Andrew's Essex partners with Southend United

Patients at St Andrew's in Essex are learning all about the beautiful game, thanks to a new partnership with local team Southend United.

St Andrew’s provides specialist mental healthcare for patients with some of the most complex, challenging mental health needs in the UK. Activities that help the people in our care to get active and involved in the community are greatly beneficial to their recovery, as are opportunities to learn skills which will help them once they are discharged.

The partnership with Southend United has led to patients enjoying a 10-week coaching programme focusing on the basic fundamentals of football, from technical ability through to communications and teamwork.

Last weekend, the people in our care also had the opportunity to enjoy a live football match at Southend's Roots Hall ground, free of charge.

Glenn Ellison, Sport and Exercise Therapist, explained: "The partnership has been a huge success and has provided our patients with an amazing opportunity and weekly physical exercise. The sessions provide a fun and therapeutic outlet as well as teaching our patients valuable life skills such as the importance of team work, positive social interaction and respect.

"The coaching course has been well attended and has created a positive atmosphere around the hospital. I would like to thank the coaches of Southend United for all of their hard work, and to Sara Templeton and the St Andrew's Occupational Therapy team for making this happen."

St Andrew’s Healthcare is passionate about encouraging patients to be more active, and get involved in sports and exercise. More information about one of our current research projects is available here.