Basildon Soccability Academy awarded grant to support women with disabilities

01 May 2018

Basildon Soccability Academy has been awarded a grant by People’s Health Trust using money raised by HealthStrength through The Health Lottery. This investment – nearly £25,000 - will help to support Female Soccability, a project which provides the opportunity for young women with a range of disabilities living in Basildon to run their own sports and social programmes. 

Each week, the women involved with Female Soccability take part in weekly football-based sessions followed by a social event with activities, chosen by the young women themselves. The women-only sessions give them a chance to work together as a team and build self-esteem.

The idea for the project came from two female members who were already involved in soccability but within mixed sessions. They felt self-conscious in front of the male players and lacked confidence so were not fully engaging. As John Smith, a founder of Basildon Soccability Academy, and now project lead explains:

“There is a lack of opportunities for young women who have a disability or mental health condition in Basildon. We already ran soccability mixed sessions but Female Soccability has really kicked off thanks to the grant from People’s Health Trust using money raised through The Health Lottery! It helps build confidence and encourages the women to feel empowered and to take ownership of the sessions. Many women in the project have disabilities and therefore, can feel socially isolated because there is no place that they can go to regularly meet others, share experiences, issues and worries.”

He continued: “There are no barriers in football and already, we are seeing greater inclusiveness for many women. We have a young lady with mental health issues who has been coming for a little while and you can really see the difference in her; that being part of a team and meeting new people has had on her confidence. She is even talking about trying to get back into the work force.”

To date, thanks to society lotteries raising money through The Health Lottery scheme, over £99m has been raised for good causes, People’s Health Trust has been able to support nearly half a million people and over 2,700 projects locally.


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