Joe loves his football and is a mad Manchester United supporter, so when he got the opportunity to get involved with his local team, he jumped at the chance. Little did he know what success would lie ahead.

 

Joe used to play football regularly at his weekly sports clubs. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, he had to reduce the amount of physical exercise he did over the past 18 months. His Senior Support Worker and I had a discussion and came up with a way of getting Joe as close to playing football and being involved again as possible.

 

Joining the club

I play for a local church team in Weston-super-Mare called Hope FC. We approached the team and asked if Joe would be able to come along on a weekly basis to help assist the team. The team’s response was fantastic and Joe has very much become a part of the team since then. On match days he arrives early to help set up the pitch for home fixtures. He also gives out the water at half time, cheers on the team throughout the match and high fives everyone at the end of the game – he’s even had a go at being a linesman! 

 

Last month, Hope FC reached the local tournament final. As a thank you to Joe, the team awarded him a Hope FC training jacket with his own initials on. He then lead out the teams from the changing room and lined up on the pitch in front of the supporters. He carried out his normal duties from the dugout and watched the team win the match and Shield trophy!

 

A mother’s thanks

Joe’s mum recently told us how much it meant for him to be supported and involved with the team:

“I just wanted to say how impressed John and I are with the way the team is supporting and encouraging Joe. He absolutely loves going to the matches, feels part of the team and is proud of the little bits of responsibility he has.

The red jacket just made his day on Wednesday and he has worn it everywhere since. He was thrilled to bits that they won the cup and you certainly have a very loyal follower in Joe. We would just like the guys to know that they have made an enormous difference to Joe's life, for which we thank them and you. I hope they all realise how important they are!”

 

A key team member

Joe has become an important member of the team and on the rare occasion where he is unable to attend the players all miss and ask after him. His involvement in Hope FC has become one of the highlights of his week.

 

Written by Daniel Roach, Service Manager