Make Me Smile

Service users get out on the football pitch with Make Me Smile funding

The Maudsley Charity supports the work of South London and Maudsley’s Council of Governors by providing funds for small-scale projects. Since 2008 there has been a scheme in place for Members of the Trust to bid for funds of up to £750.

Community football at Millwall FC

The project themes vary by year, but the criteria for funding means that each project has to benefit a minimum of three service users. In 2017 the scheme funded new football shirts for 20 players at a community football programme based at Millwall FC community training ground in Rotherhithe.

The Lewisham-based project offers sessions to enable current and former patients who disengage from clinical services, to become physically active, engage in their community, increase their wellbeing and improve their recovery.

Millwall Football Community Team

‘More than just football’

Trevor Wyre is a Support Planner working at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and is the football group lead. He says: ‘Through the group people become friends, socialise together and travel all over London. It is football, but it’s so much more. I’m inspired by the service users, seeing them progress and move on, using the group to help get people into education and volunteering.’

Benefiting from the project, Hristo talks about the impact sport has on the players’ lives, including the physical health benefits that playing football brings, proudly declaring he has lost 40kgs since he got active. He explains, ‘The experience has helped me to lose weight and increase my metabolism. I used to play football as a kid, and it is good to be playing again.’

"Taking part in the project means I have the opportunity to be part of something I am passionate about and make new friends.

Through being involved in the project I am now doing other work, including volunteering with other football clubs."

Jamie, Participant