Service users on the Elmdale ward in Halifax are enjoying complimentary season tickets thanks to the local football club Halifax Town FC.
The club is working hard within the local community to promote social inclusion and has formed strong links with the ward on the Dales unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital.
The Elmdale ward is a 24 bed unit for adults who are experiencing mental distress. Occupational therapists (OTs) from the ward have been working with Halifax Town’s community officer Pam Burton and commercial manager Pete Stajic to help them gain an insight into the role of occupational therapy in promoting recovery with individuals in an acute ward setting.
The club have been supporting staff on the ward by providing opportunities for service users to engage in leisure activities through the club to help them feel less isolated and more connected with other people in the local community.
Four season tickets have been donated to the ward and healthcare assistant Gary Kirkland, who is an ardent Halifax Town fan, has been working with the occupational therapy team to build connections with the football club.
The benefits of leisure activities for mental and physical health are well documented. Some of the benefits identified for those from the ward attending football matches at Halifax Town have been that it offers a new experience and enables them to feel more positive about themselves and their situation.
It has been a great opportunity for the service users to develop a new interest and for others to rekindle an interest they may have lost due to changes in health, motivation and reduced confidence in social situations.
The donation from the football club has enabled the Elmdale OT’s to work with individuals in decreasing their social isolation and increasing their self confidence by engaging in activities within the local community.
Speaking about the partnership occupational therapist Kath Nichols said, "Staff on the Elmdale ward are keen to ensure there are a variety of opportunities available to people admitted to the ward. We work hard to promote the importance of engaging in enjoyable leisure activities to enhance wellbeing and to improve physical and psychological health and we’re extremely grateful to Halifax Town for giving us and the service users the opportunity. "