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Relaxed Matchday Experience

October 7, 2022 1:41 pm Author: Aberdeen FC Media Team

 

Aberdeen FC Community Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with local charity We Too! and Wellbeing Coordinators at Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership to provide a ‘Relaxed’ Match Day Experience at Pittodrie.

The AFCCT Main Stand Box, sponsored by Trojan Crates, focuses on creating a dementia and neurodivergent friendly environment providing a calm area for those who may have sensory or mental health challenges.

Alana Paterson, Business Development Manager at Trojan Crates said, “Upon being approached by Aberdeen FC Community Trust, Trojan Crates were more than delighted to support the Relaxed Matchday Experience at Pittodrie. The idea of a box specifically designed for individuals with special needs, resonated with our company values of inclusivity. Offering individuals, who have a barrier to attend match days, a relaxing hub in a mindfulness environment, was something we could get behind. What better way to give back to the community by sponsoring a supportive facility that allows everyone a chance to enjoy watching an AFC Match.”

Carol Baig and Tracey Buchan from Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership added, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with AFCCT and We Too! to offer the Relaxed Matchday Experience, alongside the Main Stand Box sponsors Trojan Crates.”

Phionna McInnes, Chief Ninja at We Too! said “We Too! is thrilled to be partners of Relaxed Matchday Experience with AFCCT and Dementia Friendly. We Too! would also like to extend thanks to sponsors, Trojan Crates for recognising barriers that can be in place when accessing events and sessions and enable us to extend our relaxed sessions to include football.”

The first fixture allocated to the Wellbeing Coordinators was Crosby House care home, and their feedback was hugely positive.

“The residents and staff would like to thank Carol Baig, Wellbeing Coordinator at Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership for the opportunity of going to Pittodrie to see Aberdeen play Livingston.

“The staff at Pittodrie were extremely welcoming and helpful when we arrived and left, with offers of help to carry walking aids and help residents on the stairs. Staff were very attentive checking on everyone throughout the match.

“The residents were very pleased to receive a free programme and Aberdeen football club bear.

“Upon leaving the stadium the residents had the opportunity to have their photograph taken with some of the players and the manager. It created lots of smiles of excitement.

“When they arrived home, they told the staff how much they enjoyed their experience. One lady was extremely happy as it had been the first time she had been out since Covid began. One of the gentlemen was cheering and shouting out the score, showing off his bear and the programme, he remained excited for the remainder of the night.

“The elation created a fantastic atmosphere at the service as others got caught up in the excitement of the day being retold.

“Once again, a great big thank you from everyone at Crosby House.”

We Too! were delighted to welcome two families to the AFCCT Main Stand Box for their first allocated fixture of the Relaxed Matchday Experience.

Phionna from We Too! said “The two families that attended comprised of four children altogether, three of which have additional support needs including Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

“The families received a visual guide upon arriving at Pittodrie, this ensured the families arrived calm children in a low state of arrival as anxiety of arrival was reduced.

“The box was already set out with sensory packs including ear defenders, chew buddies and fluffy blankets.

“It was lovely to see all four children choosing to sit together and enjoy the social experience of football while the parents were also able to relax and chat to one another.

“The sensory equipment was all very well used, this allowed both families enjoyed full participation in the game and remained engaged throughout the match.

“We Too! uses a ‘Ninja Feedback Board’ to collect feedback from customers.  Some customers are pre-verbal or selectively mute.  This communication tool allows us to collate feedback.

“The Relaxed Matchday Experience was rated excellent by all of the attendees.”

We Too! received incredible feedback from the families, “I loved it so much, this was awesome, and I want to move in”, “I’ve never been to a real football match before. Best game ever”, “The staff were lovely and friendly; parking was a breeze, and it was extremely easy to find from the visual guide. Going to the football was something we had always hoped to do as a family but had put off as it’s a lot too loose if they wanted to leave half way through, if they felt they needed too, which has been our experience numerous times in situations where you are expected to sit for period of time.”

For more information on supporting the Trust please contact info@afccommunitytrust.org.