Last week Grapevine was invited to Coventry City FC’s Valentine’s Day match against Millwall. Fortunately for our Strengthening People participants (and the Cov City team and their fans!) we all enjoyed a 1-0 win.
Coventry Building Society, CBS Arena sponsor, hosted our 23 Teenvine Plus young people, families, 14 Help and Connect participants and carers, plus six Grapevine staff in their hospitality lounge – which provided a welcome break when needed from the noise of the crowds and game.
The guests ended the evening by meeting ‘Man of the Match’ Coventry’s Ben McFadzean who signed autographs and posed for photos.
Grapevine project worker Emily Jenkins said: “What a great success. Everyone had a brilliant time and I think a few people were definitely converted to football!
“People really benefited from a truly accessible experience and were also made to feel really special.”
It’s fun because I’ve never been to a football match before. It’s crazy how everyone is outside. I would love to come again.” (Rebecca)
“I’m not a big football fan, but coming and seeing the pitch up close has been brilliant. Having the lounge has been brilliant for my anxiety. I can come in here and get away if it is too much. Having this option really reduces my anxiety. I have been able to relax. Nice to come in here at half time and have better access to the toilets.” (Lorraine and Eva)
“I find it a lot better coming today. A lot more women around in the lounge. Better access and without crowds. Coming here has made me less panicked. It is calmer when getting to your seat. For someone with a disability it is a lot less overwhelming. Better experience. I like this.” (Jodie)
“It was truly great to host Grapevine – such a friendly, lively bunch. We had so much fun!” (Emma Brodie, Senior Community Officer)
Coventry Building Society are also funding part of our Connecting for Good Cov work against isolation in Coventry and reforming systems that allow it. They recently funded 100 energy saving hampers too for disabled people and their families who we are working with in Coventry.
Our Strengthening People strand of action helps uncover people’s talents and passions. We use these to create natural networks of community support. Networks that strengthen, bring opportunity and help them take charge of their lives.