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Disability Information Directory

Coping Through Football project

Fairlop Oak Playing Field
Forest Road

Contact: Sonia Smitth
Position: Project Co-ordinator
Tel: 07538 101450

Mobile: 07538 101450

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Category: Keeping Fit, Things to Do

Service Description:
Coping Through Football is a project which uses football to engage with and improve the wellbeing of young people and adults with mental ill health.

The aim is to use the football experience to improve fitness, increase levels of self-esteem and confidence, make new friends and ultimately to help people get their lives back on track. We do not see ourselves as a football project but a social inclusion project that uses football as a tool to engage people who have experienced mental health problems. Most of our players have experienced social exclusion, unemployment, poor physical and mental health, and lack a social network or support.Coping Through Football sets out to address these issues.

The project is run by three partners London Playing Fields Foundation, North East London NHS Foundation Trust and Leyton Orient Trust.

The project has been extremely successful in helping players to turn around their lives around and to live more independently. It has been recognised by the Department of Health as a model of best practice in the recovery of people with long term mental health problems and our goal is to increase the number of people who benefit.

We have had many success stories, our players attend the project for a variety of reasons and want to achieve a variety of goals depending on the individual. Most want to improve their fitness and health, make more friends, improve their football skills or achieve a vocational goal.

Sessions have been running in Waltham Forest since 2007 and the project has recently expanded into Redbridge, delivering four sessions a week at Fairlop Oak Playing Field, Forest Road, Hainault, IG6 3HJ.

The sessions are free to attend. In order to join the project participants must have a mental health diagnosis and a named care worker.

Times and opening hours


Mondays, 2pm to 4pm

Wednesdays, 2.30pm to 4pm

Young Adults, 12 to 17 years

Mondays, 4pm to 5.30pm

Wednesdays, 1pm to 2.30pm