Malcolm McClean, Founder, The It’s a Goal! Foundation
Sometimes small things can make a big difference. It’s a Goal! is one of those small things which is making a big difference to the lives of a lot of people.
We have found a remarkable way to ‘reach the parts the NHS cannot reach’. It is well documented that young men are more at risk of suicide when they are depressed. Despite their sterling efforts, the NHS still struggles to engage with these people.
By setting up a programme in a football stadium – a place where men are often thrilled to go to – and focusing on ‘being the best you can be’, we have found that we have been incredibly successful in engaging with depressed young men. Further, the programme completion rate has been in the region of 80% - something which is unprecedented when dealing with this kind of client group. For many young men, the outcomes have been astounding and life changing.
We began the programme at England’s smallest professional club, Macclesfield Town. After three years refining the programme and evaluating the results, we opened our second programme at the world’s biggest club, Manchester United.
Now It’s a Goal! is available as a social franchise through the It’s a Goal Foundation, a company limited by guarantee. According to the World Health Organisation, depression will be the World’s second most debilitating illness by 2020. There is a football stadium in every town and city in the world. It is our aim to extend the It’s a Goal! family through franchisees in the UK and master franchise licences overseas.
It will be a ‘family’. We all share a common bond and a common purpose. We want to continue to share our experiences and outcomes, so that we can enrich our programme and demonstrate its value.