A community-based Football project
Turning Corners is a community football project in Thurrock offering inclusive football for adults of all ages and abilities. It welcomes people who have experienced or are experiencing substance misuse, poor mental health or social exclusion.
Through support and funding from Active Essex and Thurrock Council, plus the Wave Three Suicide Prevention programme, Turning Corners was made possible for its founder Chris Shields.
Over the past 2 years, with Chris’s persistence and despite his own addiction issues in the past, Turning Corners has grown considerably. Using word of mouth and referrals from organisations like Thurrock and Brentwood Mind, Inclusions and the Probation Service, it is able to reach all corners of the community.
Participants range from ages 18 to over 50 and the club prides itself in being open to anyone of any ability. Due to the success of the club, they have had to move to a bigger pitch to accommodate, and now play at the Lakeside Sports ground.
A WhatsApp group has helped them stay together and connected over the colder months and through Covid-19. Turning Corners has become so much more than a football group, and instead a peer-support and social hub for many in the local area. The group regularly raises funds for other charities and hold events to support these.