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Kemple View and Burnley FC in the Community

'Burnley FC in the Community' is the award-winning official charity of Burnley Football Club. They focus on using football to transform people's lives for the better in the communities in, and around Burnley by offering community projects to a range of people. They achieve this through the delivery of three community objectives;

  1. To provide tangible community outcomes across our key themes of work including sports participation, education, health, social inclusion and community facilities.
  2. To be a self-financing, viable charity embedded within the ethos of the football club.
  3. To work with individuals and organisations to establish strong partnerships to develop and deliver worthwhile and beneficial community projects.

Kemple View is a psychiatric hospital which is part of Priory Healthcare. It is situated in the Ribble Valley, in Langho and provides inpatient services for males with mental health difficulties, personality disorders and substance misuse problems.

For some time, staff and service users from Kemple View have attended Burnley FC on a Monday afternoon to train with others from various hospitals around the region. There is extensive literature and evidence supporting the idea that exercise can be crucial in mental health recovery, and it is certainly evident that our service users have gained much from attending the training.

They have reported that it has helped improve their fitness and also their confidence and self-esteem. It has encouraged them to speak to others in similar situations to themselves whilst participating in an activity they are passionate about.

Recently the service users from Kemple View represented Burnley in a match against a team from Stoke FC, which was also made up of people with mental health issues. 3 service users from Hawthorn ward have described this game as fantastic opportunity. They went on to say:

"We started the day with a full warm up that left me feeling ready for the game. It was beautiful sunshine and everyone was looking forward to competing against Stoke. It was a 20 minute game where everyone got a chance to play. We were wearing a Burnley FC kit that made us feel really good because we were representing a Premier League football club. There was loads of support from the sidelines that encouraged us to play to our best. It was a really close game that finished 2-1 to Stoke. One of our players got our goal and that made us feel brilliant. However, Stoke were a little bit fitter but I think we gave them a really good game and we are proud of our efforts. We all had a great time and really enjoyed the whole experience. It made me feel part of a large team."

After this, they continued on to Turf Moor to cheer on Burnley FC versus Stoke in a Premier League match. This experience gave them a sense of pride, representing Burnley FC in a match, and a sense of community when asked to attend the match as supporters too. One of the service users said that he was really happy about going to Turf Moor as Burnley are the team he supports and it was the first time he had been to a football game. He also said that he loved the free pie and drink that they were all given. He loved the atmosphere and hearing the two groups of fans sing songs to each other although he did not know the words to join in himself.

At half time, Dean, a service user from Kemple View was asked to go onto the pitch to represent the team and the 'Claret in Mind' programme. He said that made him feel really good as he was representing Kemple View, Burnley and all of his peers. Something that he will never forget.

Another of our service users, Shaun, summarizes his thoughts and feelings about the 'Claret in Mind' programme and the game against Stoke, and how it has affected him and his recovery:

"The benefits of going to the group is that all the lads benefit. Most go just for fun, not just exercise. The things we benefit from are different social activities, doing something new that they might not have done for a while. There are a lot of different people going who have been known to take drugs, drinks, alcohol, some with experience of playing football, some with none at all. Tall, obese, skinny. Just for the benefit of going.

You play a match at the training facility next to the stadium doing a physical activity for exercise and fun. There are about 20 lads that go with staff and some from another rehab and we do a warm up, stretches, then straight into a game - 5 a side. There is a guy called Sam and Jordan who run the group. They sometimes join in or ref the match. We have had a tour of the stadium ground around the pitch, dressing room, interview room, dugouts - this was really good. We have been doing the group for about 7 months now.

What I feel I have benefited from is I used to be a good football player who gave it up for drugs and ruined my life but to get the best out of it is I hadn't really played for 13 years so I was a bit rusty, not as fit as I was then. But still, to play football again, right next to the ground brings back little memories for me that I never used to think about."

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