Millwall Community Trust is delighted to partner with ‘Military Veteran Football Club’ to launch a new London and South East hub for weekly Military Veteran 5 aside football, based at Millwall Community Trust's Lions Centre.

The partnership will see the Millwall Hub support Military veterans in the London and South East area and will add to the Military Veteran Football Club network of already eleven hubs across the UK, which include sessions in the North East, North West, South West, Scotland and more.

Millwall Community Trust has recently been awarded a £10,000 grant from the Sky Bet EFL Building Foundations Fund to re-engage ex-military service men and women back into civilian life through a football programme.

The programme will give participants the chance to increase their physical activity and exercise levels, whilst improving their mental wellbeing through the formation of new friendships with like-minded people, open communication and encouragement from coaches and other participants.

The ethos of Military Veteran Football Club is that any military veteran or member of the armed forces can come along for a kick about regardless of age, gender, ability, length of service or arm of service, all are welcome to join whilst trying to keep the sessions as affordable as possible to ensure its accessibility.

The aim is to offer a safe and positive environment, where people can just be themselves and in turn promote physical & mental wellbeing and reduce social isolation by recreating the camaraderie and friendship many enjoy whilst serving in the forces.

The session will include a 5-a-side kick about whilst also offering the chance for the Veterans to catch up over a coffee in our Harvey’s Den Cafe area. Access to information advice and guidance support will be accessible if needed via on-site Millwall Community Trust staff and Veteran support agencies and charities including the RBL local North Bermondsey branch, RBLI and the Not Forgotten and many more.

John Scarborough, Millwall Community Trust’s Education and Employability Manager, said: “I’m excited to announce this brand-new partnership with Military Veteran Football Club.

“Millwall is a massive supporter of the military and particularly the veteran community and this new London and South East based Millwall hub will provide Veterans with a chance to increase their physical activity whilst also improving their mental health wellbeing.

"Football is a fantastic way to bring people together and generate comradeship that lasts way after the final whistle has blown. It is not just the players that benefit from it but supporters and wider family members who can attend and support the team in their own unique positive way to generate a real lasting community that can help vitally underpin tackling moments of challenge in people lives.

"Thank you so much to David and the team from Military Veteran Football Club for helping to get this set up and taking the time to come down from Sunderland to launch the programme, we are really looking forward to working with them.”

David Bygate-Pittiglio, a founding member of Military Veteran Football Club added: “When John contacted us here at Military Veteran Football Club (MVFC) this week it was great to see that he and Millwall Community Trust had identified the need for a safe space for Military Veterans and serving personnel.

“It was quite clear from the get-go that our interests and values are very much aligned, so when John and Millwall asked us to partner, it was an easy decision for us here at MVFC.

“John’s passion along with being able to offer and facilitate the first London and South East session was integral for us getting involved. We are beyond excited to get the session up and running and we very much look forward to being a part of the launch event on Saturday.”

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