New football partnership launched for Health & Social Care staff

11th March 2022

The South Eastern Trust is delighted to join forces with the Belfast Met Football Academy, the SCBI Irish Football Association, Colin Glen Leisure and the Belfast  Trust to provide an initiative for staff to take part in football sessions aimed at improving their physical and mental wellbeing.

Belfast Met Lecturer Natalie Thompson set up the partnership along with Belfast MET students Chris Cummings and Joel Green to encourage and support Health & Social Care Staff who have been fighting on the front line against COVID for the last 20 months in an attempt to get them back playing social football as a mechanism to improve their mental and physical well-being. It will also arms the Belfast Met Football Academy students with skills to help them prepare for future employment

Speaking at the launch of the project Natalie said, “This is a great initiative involving our Football Academy students Joel Green & Christopher Cummings that will see Health & Social Care staff who were under extreme stress during the past 20 months using football as a chance to not only socialise together, but as an opportunity to look after their own health and wellbeing.”

The South Eastern Trust’s Staff Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Will Moore added, “Our staff within the Trust are delighted to avail of this fun and dynamic exercise programme which has been created by Belfast Met.  Following  a very challenging two years,  it is a brilliant opportunity to improve  their overall health and have some fun too!”

Commenting on this fantastic initiative, Keith Gibson, Football Development Manager, Irish Football Association Foundation said “We at the Irish FA Foundation are delighted to be supporting this new programme. Through the SCBI project we want to make a difference in the community and giving opportunities to our hard working Health & Social Care staff is certainly a very worthwhile project. This idea also gives students real life work experience which is something we are passionate about in our ongoing partnership with Belfast Met. We hope this pilot is a great success and something we can roll out across the country.”

Johnny Flynn from Colin Glen Leisure stated, “We are delighted to be part of this wonderful initiative and to be a facility host.  This is a chance to give something back to the participants within this project and also to have the opportunity to contribute towards a partner charity.”

Joel Green and Christopher Cummings from Belfast Met added, “It has been a great experience working with SCBI, IFA, Colin Glen and the Hospital Trusts when planning this event. We know how much Health & Social Care staff have been overwhelmed in the past two years.  We hope that every player enjoys the event and has a positive experience.”

The Trust is also pleased that donations from the initiative will go towards supporting our Chairman’s Charity, Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda, which provides amazing healthcare in a challenging, resource deprived situation.

The initiative was launched at the Ulster Hospital with hospital staff, SCBI IFA, Colin Glen Leisure, Belfast Met staff and students.