Jeanfield team-up with Perth care home for new heartwarming community project

They call it the beautiful game – and it does not just need to be on the field of play.

Football can play a starring role in the community too and a touching new intergenerational project in Perth is certainly case in point.

Jeanfield Swifts’ kind-hearted 2013 squad has teamed-up with Kincairney House Care Home, situated on Glover Street, to interact with residents and provide a listening ear.

The project idea was the brainchild of one of the home’s senior carers, Heather Perrins, whose son Samuel plays with the Swifts.

Heather, explaining how the link-up started, said: “My son’s football team was looking for sponsors.

“I then wondered if there could be an intergenerational project where we could bring the children to the home.

“I sent an email over to head office with the idea – and they really loved it.

“It’s been a long time in planning – since about November last year – but we finally got it up and running last week.”

Kids attended the home, owned by Morar, last week to present a framed shirt to some of the residents as a memento and token of appreciation for the sponsorship.

They also showed off their range of football skills as well as hearing plenty of interesting stories from the residents.

Moving forward, residents from Kincairney House are set to attend Jeanfield home games.

Heather continued: “Jeanfield Swifts have said we can use their lounge at the ground. The residents can head in there after watching a game and have a wee cup of tea. Jeanfield are embracing the idea.

“The children, when on their holidays, will be able to come to the home to play activities and games. It’s all about building relationships.

“We were thinking outside of the box and where we could have a safe space for residents and the children.

“One of the coaches said ‘put a ball to their feet and they will happily show off what they can do’.

“They were kicking the ball backwards and forwards with the residents, touching the ball really carefully.”

David Reid is Jeanfield Swifts’ community liaison officer.

“The partnership will see the players benefit from new home kit while also gaining some new fans in the residents,” he said this week.

“In return, the players will take part in Morar Living’s new intergenerational project which aims to tackle social isolation amongst the residents.

“The residents will be a regular fixture at the team’s league games and the players will pay regular visits to Kincairney House to build relationships, share stories and learn new skills.

“It’s a partnership that supports each other’s values ​​and needs.

“Sponsorship is extremely important to us as a club, it allows us to buy kits and equipment for our youngsters and give them that real sense of belonging to the club, as well as keeping our fees as low as possible, which has become even more important in the current cost of living crisis.

“As a community club, Jeanfield Swifts is delighted with this new partnership and look forward to seeing the project be a great success for everyone involved.”

A number of the residents take a deep interest in football – and one even has a professional background in the game.

All involved hope this is the beginning of a “beautiful relationship” between young and old, which will be mutually benefit for everyone.

“We have a lady who is 101 and she had the most amazing stories about when she used to support Aberdeen,” Heather explained to the PA.

“The kids’ faces just lit up and she was still overjoyed when she went back to her room.

“And one of our residents was scouted by Aston Villa so the children loved hearing about that. He was a professional footballer back in his day.

“It brings their stories to life. They are not just old people sitting in a wheelchair. There is real history there and a story to tell. I think the children got a lot of out it.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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