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New football programme to support armed forces veterans’ mental health and wellbeing kicks off

A brand new programme that aims to use football to support the mental health and wellbeing of armed forces veterans has just kicked off regular sessions and is now inviting referrals to its five pilot schemes across the country.

The first of its kind, Inside Right will harness the power of our national game to assist our young service men and women once they have left the armed forces and will help them adjust to civilian life.

The scheme also creates opportunities for those individuals who might not otherwise engage or be aware of the welfare and mental health services available to them. Football coaching qualifications and involvement in the football club will be part of the Inside Right three-year pilot programme.

The veterans will be predominantly aged between 20-50 years and may well have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Bosnia or Kosovo.

Inside Right is initially being piloted at five professional football clubs: Chelsea, Everton, Colchester United, Portsmouth and Lincoln City.

The scheme is being managed centrally by the Football Foundation, which is also funding it, with further funding provided by The Royal British Legion, the Ministry of Defence, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund and Comic Relief. The Mental Health Foundation and Combat Stress are also key stakeholders in the programme’s development.

Interested health and welfare professionals can find out more information and refer individuals that they think would benefit from getting involved in Inside Right sessions by visiting:
http://www.footballfoundation.org.uk/our-schemes/inside-right/

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