Football clubs unite to make sure matches are open to all

Sarah Pridmore (Sheffield County FA) ACC Tim Forber, volunteer Maureen Moore,, Richard Groves (former safeguarding officer SWFC), Julie Hague (Safeguarding Childrens Board), Calum Oakenfold ( Sheffield County FA), Stuart James (Safeguarding Partnership Manager), Matt Foster (Safeguarding Officer SWFC). Picture Scott Merrylees
Sarah Pridmore (Sheffield County FA) ACC Tim Forber, volunteer Maureen Moore,, Richard Groves (former safeguarding officer SWFC), Julie Hague (Safeguarding Childrens Board), Calum Oakenfold ( Sheffield County FA), Stuart James (Safeguarding Partnership Manager), Matt Foster (Safeguarding Officer SWFC). Picture Scott Merrylees
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SHEFFIELD’s two Championship football clubs have pledged to help people with hidden disabilities to attend matches.

Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday have linked with Sheffield City Council’s Team Up! campaign, which aims to ensure that everyone, regardless of their needs, gets a warm welcome and a positive response when attending a match. Julie Hague, licensing manager at Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board, which is running the campaign, said the first step for the clubs was to ensure stewards and other frontline staff received training on mental health and hidden disabilities.

She told The Yorkshire Post: “At one time, a disabled person might not have been able to get through the door at a stadium because, physically, there was no provision for wheelchairs. Luckily, that has now changed. However, the different kinds of needs people might have may be keeping them from getting through the door today.

“We want to make sure football stadia are open to all, and awareness training is that first step.”