Tranmere Rovers in the Community have been working in partnership with Wirral Ways to deliver football sessions twice a week at both Prenton Park and our Beechwood Recreation Centre facility for individuals who are in recovery.
The group take part in regular matches as part of the Spirit of Merseyside League, set up by Liverpool Homeless Football Club.
The latest event saw the teams head down to Powerleague Liverpool today to take part in a tournament to help raise awareness against gun and knife crime.
Sean, one of the individuals who attends our sessions, told us his story about how they have helped turn his life around.
“I have been coming to the football for around five to six years. I went to a group for PTSD treatment, and they told me about the football group run by Tranmere Rovers in the Community with Wirral Ways.”
Sean says the sessions helped improve his confidence and his social skills, as it was more than just a game of football. “At first I was thinking it was just going to a hall and kicking a ball about then going home, however this was not the case.
“I found myself talking to others at the group and I was able to build friendships with my peers. From the friendships I developed, I have been on nights out with my peers and I know if I am going through a hard time I can speak to them and my peers can speak to me outside the group.”
Sean found that speaking to people at the group who were going through similar issues to him helped him understand the issues and learn how to get on the road to recovery. “I found by talking to others in the group I was not alone in what I was going though at the time.”
The sessions help provide the people who attend with routine and discipline, with many having suffered with addiction problems benefitting from them. “Through the years I have been attending the football group, I have been able to cut down on my drinking. I have now stopped gambling and use the football as a way to deal with releasing my stress.”
Sean has now recovered well enough to have settled down with a family of his own. “I have also got married, own my own home and started a family with my wife. Things are good in my life thanks to the changes I've made and thanks to the group.”
Sean has decided to use his experiences and his journey to help others who are in a similar situation to the one he was in. “I’m very proud to say I am now a qualified mental health nurse and I'm able to use my life experiences to support my patients and would not hesitate to promote groups such as this.”