Service users from the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have been invited to take part in a special exhibition match at half time during the Huddersfield Town and Swindon Town match on Saturday 19th March.
The service users, who are members of Calderdale FC, will take to the pitch at half time for a match against Huddersfield Town Legends.
All Calderdale FC players that take part in the game will have the unique opportunity to meet and play against the Huddersfield Legends and meet the current players of Huddersfield Town Football Club. They will also get to watch the full match between Huddersfield and Swindon and experience the atmosphere of a professional football game.
Calderdale FC is a team consisting of men and women aged between 18 and 45 years of age who suffer from severe and enduring mental health issues. The team is part of the Good Mood Football League, which is made up of nine teams that train on a weekly basis, with official league matches taking place quarterly.
The difference between this league and other amateur football leagues is that the players are all current mental health service users, with conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Playing football has both psychological and physical benefits from anger management to anxiety control, but the most apparent advantage is that taking part gets people out of the house and socialising.
The league aims to eliminate stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health and provides a great opportunity for service users to boost their mental wellbeing through exercise.
The Good Mood league has been a remarkable success and with the help of The Zone in Huddersfield it has secured funding from The New Football Pools allowing the league to be affiliated with the Football Association. This match against Huddersfield Town Legends is a great opportunity for the league to expand into mainstream football and it will be a fantastic chance for the players.
Day service worker Julian Moses, who works with the Calderdale Inclusion Support Service, said, "This is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma and promote wellbeing through exercise at the same time as giving the team a once in a lifetime opportunity. Everyone is really looking forward to the match and the chance to show off their fancy footwork!"
You can find out more about the Good Mood Football League online at www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk
For more information about the match contact Disability Football Development Officer James Doyle on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 282 2358.