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Metropolitan Police charity football match

Published on 12 Jun 2024

A group of Metropolitan Police officers, keen to support the mental wellbeing of military veterans, organised a charity football match in aid of our blind veterans.

Supporting mental wellbeing

Two years ago Brian, a sergeant in the Metropolitan Police who has served in the force for 30 years and is due to retire this year, wanted to put something in place to support the mental health of police officers who had also served in the military.

He enlisted the support of fellow officers Lee and Mohammed; together they set to work promoting the initiative and enlisting volunteers to make it work.

They formed a group within the Metropolitan Police where veterans can be supported with their mental health and they now have volunteers working across the force.

A group shot containing both teams in their football kit and match officials on the pitch. Half the group are kneeling at the front and the others are standing behind with arms around one another's shoulders

Lee has served with the Metropolitan Police for nine years and prior to that he spent seven years in the Army serving with 13 Air Assault based in Colchester.

“Men often don’t talk about how they are feeling; we wanted to create a culture where we look out for one another’s mental health."
Lee
Organiser of the Veteran's Cup

Lee says:

“There’s a lot of ex-Servicemen and women within the force who have seen unimaginable sights during their service. I served in Afghanistan and witnessed the utter devastation caused by war.
“As part of my work with the group, last year I organised the inaugural Veteran’s Charity Cup. An 11-a-side football match whereby I led a team of military veterans against non-veteran police officers. It was great fun so we are now hoping to make it a yearly event.”

The 2024 Veteran's Charity Cup

This year’s Veteran’s Charity Cup was held at Dagenham Sports Club and it was the East Area Police that took victory with a 5-3 win against the veteran team. Lee says:

“My team was made up of a mix of serving police officers who had served in the military and players who are now retired from the force as well as being veterans. The average age was 50 but we gave the East Area Team a good game and were initially 2-0 up.”

Money raised from the Veteran’s Charity Cup over the past two years has been donated to our charity and almost £1,000 has now been presented to us. Lee says:

“The money we have raised is not bad for a couple of games of football! As a veteran myself, it means a lot to me to be able to support the veteran community. Those supported by Blind Veterans UK are often in a dark place when they first approach the charity, but the charity works with them to rehabilitate and support them to live as independently as possible following sight loss.”

Are you part of a group and would like to find out how you could support our blind veterans? 

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