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Oct 22

@meetoo_helps A huge congratulations to you, @meetoo_helps, and your inspirational work supporting young people đź‘Ź

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Foundation Case Study – Meet Matthew, Nicola And Reggie

The next in our series of Foundation case studies introduces Reggie Dornan, Disability Football Development Officer, Football For All participant Matthew Spoors and his mum, Nicola.

Football For All delivers in school football coaching sessions and after school football coaching centres for children, young people and adults with disabilities. This programme is funded by BBC Children in Need, The Peoples Postcode Trust, Sport England, Northumbria Police Charity, Kids 1st Nurseries and Southbay Civil Engineering.

Disability Football Development Officer Reggie is originally from Belfast but relocated to Newcastle to take up the post of Disability Football Development Officer four years ago. Reggie holds a UEFA A Licence and previously coached the Ireland National Deaf Team.

Matthew, aged 10 from Whickham in Gateshead, was born prematurely at 29 weeks. He has hemiplegia which is a form of cerebral palsy.

Matthew joined Newcastle United Foundation’s Football for All project when his mum Nicola saw a poster advertising a cerebral palsy football session organised by Reggie. He goes along every week and is always the first to get there. He is confident and vocal and has become a real team leader, always motivating and coaching the other children. He has a very positive outlook on life and focuses on what he can do, not what he can’t.

Last year Matthew had yet more surgery for bone realignment which meant he had to use a wheelchair for a while again. Despite being back in hospital, he only missed a couple of sessions and still came to spectate and cheer on his team mates.

“Football is my life. I love watching Newcastle United and I love playing football on a Wednesday night with my friends” said Matthew.

Nicola is not only Matthew’s biggest fan, she also champions the Foundation at every opportunity, giving her time and energy to raise funds so other disabled children can enjoy football in the way that Matthew does.

“Wednesday nights are the highlight of the week. Matthew has not only gained more football skills but being with children with similar disabilities he has learnt to accept his disability” added Nicola.

For more information on Newcastle United Foundation Disability Football sessions please email Reggie Dornan

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