THE old saying goes that ‘with the right support, opportunity knocks’ – and for Celtic FC Foundation and Big Lottery Fund Scotland, this adage is true for those on doorsteps across the North and East of Glasgow.
Following a hugely successful pilot project aided by other funding partners, West of Scotland Housing Association and Clyde Gateway, Celtic FC Foundation’s Gateway to Health and Opportunity has operated continuously since October, 2015.
Made possible by National Lottery funding, this initiative is firmly focused towards enhancing the lives of individuals afflicted by social deprivation and economic constraint.
Engaging participants from various backgrounds, this project encompasses individuals suffering addiction problems or homelessness, as well as those experiencing mental health problems or physical impairment. Moreover, Gateway to Health and Opportunity particularly addresses those who face barriers to employment through health related reasons, as well as others who have recognised the need for a change in lifestyle.
Throughout, Celtic FC Foundation staff work closely with participants to build their confidence, self-esteem and ultimately, equip them with the knowledge and belief to lead more fulfilling, healthier lifestyles and increase their chances of employment.
The comprehensive 10-week itinerary includes information workshops on nutrition and well-being, smoking cessation and money management, and crucially, a challenging curriculum of physical activity, encouraging healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
Across the last 12 months, Gateway to Health and Opportunity has witnessed huge success, with over 100 participants engaged and many subsequently moving on to wholly positive destinations including employment and voluntary positions as well an overall willingness to embrace a healthier reality.
Speaking on the success of the project, Martin Cawley, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, said: “We have seen how effective Celtic FC Foundation are in engaging people who previously hadn’t considered employment a possibility.
“The project is highly motivational and shows people what they are capable of, inspiring them to achieve new goals. Celtic FC Foundation is well-placed to deliver this project and it’s great to see them using National Lottery money to make a real and measurable difference to people’s lives.”
Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton, added: “At Celtic FC Foundation, we are fundamentally committed to creating opportunities in the North and East of Glasgow and beyond.
“The Gateway to Health and Opportunity project typifies our strong determination to transform lives for the better and I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Big Lottery Scotland Fund for helping us deliver meaningful, lasting change.”
If you would like more information on Celtic FC Foundation’s Gateway to Health and Opportunity project, please email [email protected] or call 0141 551 4321.