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United Forge A New Partnership With Family Links

Oxford United in the Community engage with leading emotional health charity

30 November 2017

A new partnership between Oxford United in the Community and Family Links, the UK’s leading charity in emotional health, is for the first time providing emotional management training for youth football coaches so they can help Oxfordshire’s young people to be emotionally healthy through the power of football.

The staff of Oxford United in the Community have engaged Family Links to work with eight of their football coaches, equiping them to enhance their outreach for the range of complex emotional and behavioural needs increasingly found in local schools and communities. Many of the children live in areas of high deprivation. Although Oxford is a wealthy city, some parts of Oxfordshire sit within the highest areas of need in the UK (UK Gov. indices of deprivation).

The new training course for football coaches has been developed and delivered by Family Links, the leading national provider of emotional health training. Their aim is to provide adults and children with the understanding, skills and ability to lead emotionally healthy lives, build resilience, empathy, self-esteem and support positive relationships.

Kate Longworth, Chief Executive at Oxford United in the Community, said, “It is a real honour to be associated with a charity I have admired for many years. Family Links is rightly recognised as giving an axis of strength to so many youth and community interventions. I and the team are excited by the opportunity that this fascinating and rigorous training for our young people’s football coaches has given us to deliver a more focused impact in this community we love.”

Rowen Smith, Head of Training for Family Links, said: “Oxford United in the Community have been incredibly innovative and forward thinking in the use of our programmes. Sport plays such a part in developing good emotional health. Family Links is able to tap into this and we would like to work with more sports clubs throughout the UK.

“There is an increasing awareness that robust emotional health can have an impact on people’s ability to develop resilience both inside and outside of sport. The young people benefit from being part of a team, and learn skills that are as useful on, as well as off, the football pitch.”


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