Students use their football skills to help charity tackle ex addicts' substance abuse
Students are using the power of football to help tackle drug and alcohol problems as part of a new scheme run by Wrexham Glyndwr University.
Members from recovery hub Champions' House will benefit from the use of Glyndwr’s facilities and coaching from students as they top up their soccer skills this spring.
It's hoped that a new weekly programme of training sessions will help those confronting substance misuse channel their energy into physical activity, while giving students an opportunity to enhance their employability.
Lisa Clutton, engagement and activities coordinator at Champions' House, said the programme could have huge benefits for members trying to reach personal goals off the pitch.
"We hope the programme will help our members learn new team working skills, build confidence and fitness, and help them to increase their sense of self-worth," she said.
"Being part of a football team like this can really help people bring out their competitive streak, and give them a lift when they are successful.
"In the future, I hope we might be able to field a competent football team in full fixtures - perhaps in a Sunday league."
The launch of an eleven-a-side team in Wrexham would follow the success of the CAIS Jigsaw Lions, who are based in Colwyn Bay play in the Rhyl and District Sunday League.
Andrew Ruscoe, a Wrexham Glyndwr University PGCE student and the director of non-footballing relation and community networking for Brickfield in the Community, has been coaching the charity’s members.
He said: “As part of BR in the Community we have projects going into schools and the community to offer football to everyone and drive up a healthy living style in Wrexham.
“We work closely with Glyndwr and as a teaching student here it’s great to bring the members to a learning environment and use the great facilities.
“I’m also helping mentor another student so programmes like this can continue and there’s an evolution path way and offers great employability skills.
“Thank you to Lucy Jones, from Glyndwr Careers team for her overwhelming support this year. Without her projects such as the recovery football would have never taken place.”
Mr Ruscoe also praised Youth and Community lecturer Helen Kneale “who supported myself with the creation of the BR in the Community organisation” and Paul Hooson the chairman of Brickfield Rangers for his “support enabling us to do this for brickfield”.
Champions' House, operated by the charity CAIS, is a creative, active and supportive environment for people who have suffered from drug and alcohol addiction but are now actively seeking recovery.