‘Safe Spaces’ for those who want to go back to games

Photo: Michael McEvoy with Hubert Murphy, General Manager, Drogheda Utd and Sheena Kierans, chairperson and Aiden Gibney, Drogheda Credit Union. Picture: Larry McQuillan

AS part of a new initiative at Head in the Game Park, the Drogheda United/Drogheda Credit Union Community Foundation is launching a ‘Safe Spaces’ project, aimed at getting vulnerable people back enjoying sporting occasions again.

“When one of our great supporters, Michael ‘Mick the Mod’ McEvoy, suffered a stroke, it really impacted on his life, including being unable to get back watching the Drogs every week. Through speaking with Michael, we have devised a project that we hope will offer support to many people from many walks of life,” Drogheda’s General Manager, Hubert Murphy stated.

“Those who have suffered life changing accidents or illnesses or those with special needs, and indeed people badly impacted by isolation due to Covid, may find it hard to re-adjust to big crowds and occasions or even imagine being around a lot of people. “We want to help people and families in such circumstances. With prior arrangement, we want those keen to get back to matches to come up and get a taste of the club again on quiet days. For many, maybe walking through the gates might be a daunting task, but we will give them a tour of the place and hopefully it will build confidence that might be lacking,” Hubert added.

“Many people have great memories of the club, the players and staff down the years and we want them to relive those days. Maybe there are those who don’t go to games anymore and their families might like to show them around the old ground again, We can cater for those too.

“Because our ground is named after a mental health charity, we want to encourage people to capture moments that might last a lifetime and if we can assist anyone with this, we’ll gladly do it,” Hubert explained.

Michael McEvoy attended the launch this week and said he was deeply grateful to the club for the support and he hopes other sporting organisations will take the project on board. He is backing a ‘Being There’ idea in association with the Irish Heart and Stroke Foundation.A special presentation was made to him for being such a voice for stroke victims and their families.

Sheena Kierans, chairperson of Drogheda Credit Union, said as a community orientated organisation they were delighted to recognise the impact local people can have within their community and this was one of those occasions.

Those interested in learning more about such an experience, please contact Hubert at hubertmurphy@droghedaunited.ie

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