Funding from The FA paves the way for new  football opportunities for people with mental health challenges in Liverpool

Footballers with mental health challenges in Liverpool are set to benefit from a significant boost in competitive opportunities after Imagine Independence, a Liverpool based, national charity supporting people with mental health and other needs, was awarded a £6,000 Grow the Game grant.

The scheme, which is funded by The Football Association [The FA] and delivered by the Football Foundation, will enable Imagine Independence to create up to four new football teams over the next two years that will form the basis of an ‘Imagine’ league across Merseyside. This will be for people excluded from playing football because they have had a mental health issue that has prevented them from getting involved in the game.

The Grow the Game scheme sees grants of £1,500 a year awarded to community football clubs wishing to create new teams, especially amongst under-represented groups.

This year, funding was made available for clubs looking to create new female and disability football teams, which can assist towards the costs of FA coaching courses; FA league affiliation costs; referees’ fees; first aid kits; football kit and equipment.



Margaret Hanson, the Chief Executive Officer of Imagine Independence said: "I was approached by one of the younger men that Imagine supports in January 2019 at an event we were hosting with the LFC Foundation. Imagine already offers walking football as a social inclusion opportunity. However, I was asked to find the funding to support 11-a-side football for the younger people with whom the organisation works." 
"I was delighted when I was made aware of the grant schemes that are available from The FA and the Football Foundation. I approached the local Liverpool County FA for their support to start a team/s to help people develop better physical and mental wellbeing, who would otherwise find it hard to get involved in the game. They couldn’t have been more helpful. We’ve been awarded the maximum grant for two years. This will be used to fund kits, pitch hire and to support any volunteers who want to take their coaching or refereeing qualifications to do so. The aim is to make the sessions self-supporting after 2 years. Everyone will get their first four weeks free and then there will be a small charge after that to make sure the investment from the FA and Football Foundation has long lasting impact.’ 

‘The launch of our teams will be on the 6th of September 2019 at the Jericho Lane pitches in south Liverpool.  Anyone who wants to get involved is welcome to come along and find out more on the day. Check out our website at for more information or call us on 0151 709 2366 for a chat.


For more information contact:

Margaret Hanson on 0151 709 2366 

Notes to editors

About Grow the Game

Grow the Game is delivered by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity, and funded by The FA Last year, 479 clubs were awarded grants by the Foundation awarded grants to 479 clubs to support:

  • 230 new disability teams
  • 1,140 new female teams
  • 3,770 disabled footballers
  • 13,739 female footballers
  • 1,787 new coaching qualifications

Since it was launched in 2010, the Grow the Game scheme has supported the growth of more than 14,000 teams.


About The FA

The FA is the not-for-profit governing body of football in England. It is responsible for promoting and developing every level of the game, from grassroots through to the professional game, and successfully generates enough revenue to support the investment of well over £100m into English football each year. The FA oversees 28 England international teams, across men’s, women’s, youth and disability football, as well as running FA Competitions, including the Emirates FA Cup and SSE Women's FA Cup, and the world-class facilities of Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park, all with a purpose to Unite the Game and Inspire the Nation.   

About the Football Foundation

As well as Grow the Game, the Football Foundation uses investment from Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, to provide enhanced sporting facilities across the country. Since 2000, the Foundation has supported over 16,500 grassroots projects worth more than £1.5bn. 

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