Feature Article

Wingate & Finchley FC Disabled Fans Forum by Tamia Padotan Partnering up with Football Coach and Mental Health campaigner, Manisha Tailor, Wingate & Finchley strives to use the power of football to connect and change the lives of those within their community. Over the past three years, Wingate & Finchley has facilitated and worked alongside Manisha to put into effect the ‘Wingate & Finchley FC Disabled Fans Forum.’ Manisha’s inspiration for the project, ‘Simply Being’ came to fruition from the experience of becoming the carer for her twin brother at the age of 18, who was diagnosed with mental illness as a result of bullying at school. “This real-life experience has taught me the value of early intervention and the impact football can have on mental health, overall well-being and the importance of supporting carers and adults alike,” said Tailor. This initiative provides fans from the local community, who are disabled or have mental health issues, with the opportunity to come together in a safe environment, enjoy a matchday experience and participate in free weekly football sessions. The club profoundly supports projects which aim to provide a sense of identification and inclusion for those in their community whilst promoting an active, healthy and independent lifestyle. First-team Secretary at the club, Mark Felstein credited the work put into the inspirational partnership. “Mental Health projects with Manisha are always highly successful. She is a brilliant individual who dedicated a lot of time and effort to these projects and helping the club and the community.” This program helps adults and young people take ownership of - and improve - their emotional and behavioural health whilst having fun participating in teamwork and confidence building exercises. A personal insight from Khalid Karimullah, a member of Wingate’s press team who has openly spoken out about his struggles with depression and anxiety commented on the community led-project. He said: “It’s 2018 and it’s fair to say the stigma around mental health still exists and you need initiatives such as this to break down those barriers. For some it’s uncomfortable to speak of, but hopefully through the universal sport of football, there’s an opportunity to eradicate those thought-patterns.” Free access to Wingate & Finchley FC games was also included where fans could come along and enjoy watching a live fixture of the Blues in action at the incredible, Maurice Rebak Stadium. “It is about making people feel they can comfortably express themselves,” concluded Khalid. “And through the help of a diverse family club like Wingate & Finchley, hopefully more projects around mental health can materialise within football clubs across the UK – at all levels - and show that mental health is what people have, but it’s not who they are.”

Recent Posts

See All

After a late 4-2 win against Burgess Hill Town to secure the Club’s safety at Step 3, Wingate & Finchley held our annual awards night to commemorate the achievements of the 2018-19 season. Despite a t

The Under 15's Cup Final this Sunday has been moved due to weather concerns to Sunday 31st March at Fisher FC, SE16 5EF.

We are pleased to announce that the youth trials for next season will be held on the May Bank Holiday weekend (4th & 6th), for players of all ages from Under 7 upwards. Please see the registration for