A student organizes a football training day

A football-loving student from West Lothian is aiming for results after hosting a game to help people recover from drug and alcohol addiction.

Michelle Black (37) from Livingston is a former prison officer and now an HNC Working with Communities student at Forth Valley College.

She recently started an internship with Forth Valley Recovery and realized she wanted to take a new approach to her graded unit project.

Having had a lot of experience working with vulnerable people and realizing that many of them had a similar love for football, she decided that developing a day of football training and matches would be the perfect way to improve the trust and inspire those in recovery and raise awareness for two great organizations at the same time.

Michelle proposed that a team of people involved in Forth Valley Recovery could support a team from the Center Forward program at Forth Valley College and the Falkirk Foundation – which is designed to help young people (aged 16-24) with people with learning disabilities to achieve aspirations, develop existing skills and improve confidence using sport and physical activity to make positive life changes – for a collaborative training day and match at the Falkirk Stadium CF.

Michelle, who has been coaching women’s football since 2015, said she has always wanted to make a difference in the communities where she lives and works.

She said: “I quickly realized that the people I work with on placement all have a love of football and I thought it would be good to incorporate that into an event that could improve their confidence and their activity level and help their physical and mental well-being at the same time.

“I found out about the great Center Forward project through college and thought it would be great if we could have a mixed training and football game day at the stadium and got into it. organize with the help of my teachers Ruth Davis and Stewart Ritchie and Charlene Bissett, FVC Workplace Coordinator – so big thanks to them.

“I also want to thank Kendall McGuigan for introducing me to the course and Grant Ferguson from the Falkirk Foundation for agreeing to support me and help with the event.

“It’s been a great experience to get it up and running and it’s grown arms and legs since the idea came up to help solve some of the issues that are real issues in society with the drugs and alcohol. It’s great that we’ve now managed to run a real football training session with Falkirk players involved and then a mixed game at the end with trainees from Forth Valley Recovery and Center Forward. I’m so thrilled with how it all turned out and I’m sure it’s been beneficial for everyone involved.

“I also hope the event could become an annual event to be held before Easter and World Health and Wellness Day.”

Ruth Davis, business and community speaker, said: “Michelle has worked hard to organize this event, I hope it helps dispel some of the stigma around addictions and disabilities and has been a valuable opportunity for intergenerational communication and collaboration through sport. and funny.”

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