Think With Your Feet

Participants in Middlesbrough FC kits huddle up for a team talk

FOOTBALL is increasingly being recognised as a valuable tool for practical mental health therapy, and MFC Foundation is very much at the forefront of this endeavour.

MFC Foundation’s ‘Think with Your Feet’ mental health football sessions have rapidly expanded since they began in February 2015 and this is mainly due to the ever growing partnership with MIND and their ‘Get set to go project’ which refers service users into our weekly football sessions.

As well as weekly football session participants are also given the opportunity to represent MFC Foundation in national competitions ran by similar initiatives at other football clubs.

The team, currently ranked 1st in the country after winning the National Mental Health Championships hosted by Everton in the Community, have won a range of silverware this year after wins in Northampton, Derby and Rotherham. Alongside this a group of participants were lucky enough to go to Munich, thanks to fundraising and sponsors, and compete in the EASI-Regenbogen-Cup which they also won in extra time.

The impact of the sessions goes above and beyond keeping fit and playing football.

“Not so long ago, I tried to kill myself and was also harming myself. Now, through football and MFC Foundation’s football team I can see a point to my life. I enjoy spending time there and have made loads of friends. All the lads and the coaches are superb, I love playing with MFC Foundation – I love the Boro, but not as much as the Boro loves me.” – Think With Your Feet participant

We also hold an annual Social Inclusion tournament, which this year alongside Everton’s National Championships, was the joint biggest tournament in the UK attracting teams from as far as Carlisle and Wrexham.

If you would like to know more, please email liam.watson@mfcfoundation.co.uk

 

Stewart Smith Memorial Trophy

A MEMORIAL tournament that will ensure the name of a lifelong Boro fan and former trustee of MFC Foundation lives on is to be staged at the end of this month.

Fittingly, the Stewart Smith Memorial Trophy, a football tournament aimed at U7-U12-year-olds, will be staged over two days at the Herlingshaw Centre where seven years ago he cut the ribbon on a brand new 3G outdoor pitch.

Stewart sadly past away before he had time to add to his considerable legacy throughout the Teesside area, but he family are determined his work will continue to benefit communities he was so proud to be part of.

A trustee of MFC Foundation between 2013 and 2019, Stewart was the Foundation’s Chair for approaching four of those years from April 2013 to August 2016.

He helped shape the Foundation in the way you see it today, mixing the passion for his football club with his vision in the world of business to the benefit of communities throughout the area. It was that business acumen that saw him named North East Executive of the Year in 2010 – a moment of great pride.

Like many a proud Teessider, Stewart began watching the Boro from the Boys End at Ayresome Park and remained a fan for the rest of his life. It was an immensely proud time for him when his company, Ramsdens, was on the shirts of his beloved Boro for seven years between 2010 and 2017 and then as Ramsdens Currency for a further year.

If you would like to know more details about the Stewart Smith Memorial Trophy which will held on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May, please e-mail Sean at sean.mackin@mfcfoundation.co.uk or ring the Herlingshaw Centre on 01642 282128