Free supportive football sessions for women return to Oxfordshire to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

Oxford United in the Community has partnered with Oxfordshire Mind to deliver a series of free supportive football sessions.

Funded by Cherwell District Council under its ‘Supporting Improved Mental Wellbeing’ theme from the Brighter Futures in Banbury Scheme, the football club’s official charity delivered the first of 10 weekly sessions on Monday, May 16.

The two-hour meet ups - hosted at Easington Sports FC between midday and 2pm - combine football with complementary wellbeing workshops.

Sessions are free to attend and open to women aged 16 to 30 of all abilities.

Workshop activities will address issues such as loneliness and social isolation, by helping participants forge new friendships and develop important life skills in a safe and supportive environment.

This is the second time Oxford United’s charity arm has organised supportive football sessions with Oxfordshire Mind and Easington Sports FC following the success of last year’s launch programme.

Mark Thomas, Social Inclusion Lead at Oxford United in the Community, said: “The response we received for last year’s programme was overwhelmingly positive.

“It demonstrated a clear demand for provisions like this across Oxfordshire. Which is why we’re pleased to be helping more women aspire towards brighter futures through the power of football.

“Spaces for each session are limited, so I encourage anyone interested to book now.”

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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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