The Football for All campaign is a pilot partnership between the SPFL Trust, Family Fund and currently 8 SPFL football clubs: Clyde FC, Cowdenbeath FC, Dumbarton FC, East Fife FC, Livingston FC, Partick Thistle FC, St Johnstone FC and Stenhousemuir FC.
Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Last year, they provided support to 6,233 families in Scotland. Such grants help support low-income and vulnerable families.
Following a robust application process grants are awarded for wide range of items, such as washing machines, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing and computers.
Through Football for All, the tickets, which work on a first-come, first-served basis will be available to all families who have received support from Family Fund since January 2018.
St Johnstone FC's Support Liason Officer, Beverley Mayer explains;
Since its inception at the beginning of this season we have welcomed six different families to McDiarmid Park as part of the Family Fund’s ‘Football for All’ scheme, some of whom had never attended a live football match before.
Applying for tickets under the scheme is easy, but it can be quite daunting attending a live sporting event in unfamiliar territory for the first time, (particularly one where there will potentially be thousands of people in attendance on the day) so when families apply for tickets we offer them the opportunity to have a look around the stadium prior to the date of their chosen fixture, in order that they may familiarise themselves with their surroundings, ie turnstiles, kiosks, loos, quiet spaces, etc.
We want to show potential new fans that we are fully inclusive and our stadium is accessible. We want everyone to feel safe and to be able to enjoy their match day experience with us, even if the result doesn’t always go our way on the pitch!
Disabled people are the largest minority group in the world and it’s vital that football – the most popular sport in the world – continues to play its part in promoting access and inclusion for all. The ‘Football for All’ scheme allows families to experience The Beautiful Game for themselves, and those experiencing live football at McDiarmid Park for the first time could well go on to be lifelong supporters of St Johnstone FC!