Part Of The Team Project Yields Great Success

The Hull FC Community Foundation’s ‘Part Of The Team’ project has been offering veterans vital social interaction opportunities over the last 12 months.

Thanks to funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund, the Community Foundation has been able to engage with hundreds of local veterans and their families through several weekly sessions over the last year, improving wellbeing and fundamentally reducing feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

Coffee mornings that take place at the Hull FC Community Hub on Wednesday mornings have proved incredibly popular, with over 100 veterans attending on a number of separate occasions. This has helped enhance emotional resilience, whilst also tackling determinants of loneliness, by enabling veterans to join like-minded individuals for a coffee, some food and a chat.

In addition, the Part Of The Team project has yielded a Veterans Garden Club, which has seen attendees of our Coffee Mornings maintaining the garden of the Hull FC Community Hub, whilst also making running repairs to one another’s gardens out in the local community.

To help veterans stay active and to increase levels of light exercise, a walking multi-sport session was introduced last year.

Glen Mullholland, 54, discussed the importance of the multi-sport sessions. “I retired early due to a stroke five years ago, which has affected my righthand side.

“But the walking multi-sport sessions are exactly what I have needed. They are at my level of physical intensity. The sessions have boosted both my mental and physical wellbeing, and I even take my grandson along! He’s only five and he loves it.

“I think it’s fantastic how Hull FC caters for all abilities.”

Brian Edge, 83, has had similar praise for the coffee mornings at the Community Hub.

“My whole world changed when I lost my wife, so I started attending the veterans coffee mornings every Wednesday. This has really helped me with my mental health because it fills a gap in my life.

“Without the veteran’s coffee mornings I’d be sat about at home doing nothing. Its good to speak to other veterans and hear their stories.

“I’ve made new friends at the coffee morning and its one of the highlights of my week”.

Steve Sampher, a local 43-year-old veteran, has been volunteering at sessions since they started last year. But towards the end of 2021, Sampher’s passion was rewarded with a part-time role within the Community Foundation, as he became Pathways Officer.

“As a life-long Hull FC supporter and a Hull FC Wheelchair player, to now to be working for the Hull FC Community Foundation is an amazing feeling and a very exciting opportunity.

“To have the chance to work with people around the club and across the city, I’m really looking forward to going out into the community and helping people.

“I’ve been volunteering at the club for quite a while now, working on a number of projects.

“Due to the injury I sustained whilst in the Army, I do have some struggles and challenges, but everybody at the club has been unbelievably accommodating, going out of their way to help me and make me feel as welcome as possible.”