A North Kensington football club is celebrating a league and cup double to crown a remarkable year on and off the pitch.
Minds United FC, which provides footballing opportunities to adults with lived experience of mental health issues, won the Middlesex FA North West London Mental Health League title by 15 points and saw its St Charles Community Team lift the Middlesex FA Mental Health County Cup following a nail-biting penalty shootout.
Since being set up by founder Tarik Kaidi in 2019, Minds United has used money from the Grenfell Projects Fund to rapidly expand, including hiring a pitch at the Westway, creating new teams and paying for league entry and transport costs.
Not even the pandemic could stop the club’s growth, with football leadership and respect courses run through the Community Leadership Programme being held online rather than in person.
“Winning the tournament showed the players the importance of never giving up and brought the players a lot of hope and joy which they will remember forever. We celebrated as a club and look forward to the tournaments we are entering next month.
“We have been proud to be able to use the Grenfell Projects Fund and Community Leadership programme to grow Minds United and I hope we will see more people joining us on our journey in the future.”
Sofiane, who plays for Minds United’s St Charles Community team, said:
“Ever since I joined Minds United, my life has changed for the better. I’m fitter, running more and it’s helped me a lot. I also made a lot of friends.
“The trophy we won meant the world to me as it took hard work, dedication and teamwork. I could go as far to say it gives you a purpose in life.”
Minds United has also recently launched a women’s team in partnership with Kensington and Chelsea Council, Golborne Community Champions, London Football Association and the Venture Centre.
The side played its first match – a 3-0 friendly victory over Southwark Disability Stars – last month and trains at Hazlewood Tower pitch from 4-5pm on Thursdays.
To find out more about any of the teams and become a free member of Minds United FC, visit the club’s website.