Fleetwood Town’s Community Trust have been in the news once again as they have rightly been receiving praise for the veterans football sessions that have been held at Poolfoot Farm recently.
Veterans, whether they be ex-Army, Navy, or Air Force, across Lancashire have been benefiting from free football sessions at our training complex this summer as they look to build a comradery with each other.
Those who have been in the military sometimes struggle to readjust back to civilian life after service and these games are there to help them along and try to stop them from getting isolated or lost due to lack of care.
The aim of the sessions is to set up a veterans football league in the region and approximately 12 clubs have teams so far. The aim of the teams is to help veterans with their mental health, cut isolation and improve general health through physical exercise.
Rick Clement, our Trust’s Community Engagement Officer, said this on the programme: “When you bring veterans together, they start to open up and talk whether it’s over a beer after the football, or a coffee before, they have that space open up about issues they may have.
“Some joined the Army like myself at the age of 16 and they’ve never paid council tax or basic bills, and they can start to struggle because nobody has even taught them how to do them. At the same time, they might have gone through something traumatic events in the military as well.
“As far as ex-military are concerned, nobody can understand things like that other than somebody else who has been there. As a soldier, you are taught to show no weakness and never show that weak side of yourself, but when you leave the military, you might not have the social skills to deal with issues you start to come across."
One of the participants from the Fleetwood Town side added: “It’s like being in the army, without being there. You all have the same banter, humour, and mentality and you just kind of pick up where you left off with people you don’t even know."
If you would like to watch Granada Reports’ TV broadcast on the free football sessions, click HERE.