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Posted on Sep 4 2017 by Bobbie Kelly

St Andrew's partners with Northampton Town FC

St Andrew’s Healthcare is proud to announce a new partnership with Northampton Town Football in the Community Trust, which will provide opportunities for patients that include education, physical activity, employability skills, volunteering and vocational opportunities.

St Andrew’s provides specialist mental healthcare for patients with some of the most complex, challenging mental health needs in the UK. We develop an individual package of care for each patient to help them recover, focusing on physical and spiritual wellbeing as well as their mental health.

Activities that help our patients 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.

A group of our female patients are already benefitting from our partnership with the club, and are taking part in a 10-week football coaching course.

Victoria Baynes, Senior Occupational Therapist, highlighted the difference the sessions are already making. She said: "Early feedback from our ladies is that they really enjoyed the coaching and they are really forward to the next session."

In total there will be five 10-week coaching courses available to patients across our Northampton site over the course of the year, with patients receiving valuable experience working with a professional sporting club, physical health improvements and strong employability skills including communication, teamwork and listening.

Craig Leslie Philips,  St Andrew's Healthcare Sports and Exercise Therapist, has been a key lead in the partnership conversations. He said: "It is great to have a partnership with our local community club and even better to see maximum effort and an excellent demonstration of technical skills, team work and communications from our patients."

St Andrew’s Sports and Exercise Therapy Department, the Education Department and Northampton Town Football club have also worked together to create lesson plans to allow patients to gain a selection of higher qualifications and awards. The next stage of the education football pathway will be at GCSE level, whereby patients will be assisting and delivering sporting activity sessions to gain a nationally recognised qualification to use for the future.

Paul Devlin, Head of Community at the football club, added: “The Northampton Town Football in the Community Trust programme are very pleased to be involved in this new project with St Andrew’s. We have delivered some football activities over the last couple of years, so having the chance to help support the staff to deliver some education based programmes which will help with the employability of the participants.”

In the coming weeks, the St Andrew’s Annual Community Cup will be taking place at the Northampton site. Set up by Craig Newman (Senior Occupational Therapist) in partnership with the Cobblers, the Cup will unite 60 to 70 people from Mental Health Foundations across Northamptonshire through a football tournament. Full details will be announced soon.