"Sharing my experience of community leave "

About: Wathwood Hospital

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

Posted on behalf of patient at Wathwood hospital

I would like to share my story of a recent escorted community group leave.

This is the experience I encountered when visiting a football stadium for the first time. It so happened to be one of the most iconic, known worldwide with a following of supporters from every walk of life. Personally my club loyalty lay elsewhere, but visiting the home of Manchester United, Old Trafford Stadium was a pretty good place to start.

It was organised by the gym staff at Wathwood hospital and patients had to get permission from the MDT to attend, once all the paper work was in place. The 11th Oct was the day of the trip and everyone was in good spirits when we embarked on our epic journey at around 9am in the hospital mini bus. Travelling to Manchester we passed some stunning scenery snaking through the Pennines. As I looked on at the Moors in its rustic colour, some of idyllic hills were straight out of the movies simmering in the early morning mist. The buildings that we viewed engulfed by the deep crevasse by centuries of erosion, even when we looked up the hills seemed liked mini mountains. It truly was an experience that will forever been in my mind and that was just travelling to our destination.

When we arrived at Old Trafford, setting eyes on a stadium I have seen many a times on television in all its glory, I was surprised at sense of feeling conjured up by viewing such an sporting icon. We then made are way to the reception desk to buy tickets for Museum & Tour at a cost of £16. 00 and receiving a pass with lanyards. The tour guide took us to a plaque in memory of the eight M. U. players that died in the Munich air disaster, and a flame that has been burning since it was unveiled, and then unto the stands in the VIP section with padded seats looking at the pitch from a central position. I tried to imagine the atmosphere of 75, 000 screaming fans at a football match. He explained the seatting arrangements, club & press boxes and camera locations. We then visited players bar and changing room were replica football shirts of current first team players hung. Also in the room a white pitch board for football tactics that Alex Ferguson himself might have had pre match talks and halftime tactics with his M. U. squad. Then we were taken to the tunnel where the players emerge onto the pitch and the dugout, all the time our guide encouraged us to take photos of ourselves and surroundings, dropping subtle trivia like the grass for the pitch came from Rotherham, this made one of our patients smile. After the tour we then visited the museum looking at the replica trophies won over the years. Using the multimedia touch screen technology we watched certain match goals and plays.

Coming to the end of our day we spent some money in M. U. gift shop and the Red Café Bar. What by the way was not cheap, but one consolation we got our museum tour certificate signed and pictures taken with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who happened to be there with his family. I felt his actions were very charitable and kind to still have time for people in a public capacity even after leaving the club. Also those wonderful views of Pennine country side to look forward to enjoying on the way back.

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Response from Philip Dickinson, Ward Manager and Involvement Lead, Wathwood Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Firstly I would like to comment on the wonderfully written piece of literature, I found myself experiencing the day through their words.

I am so pleased that the day was a great success I understand that everyone who attended had a wonderful day.

The Sports team were looking to offer something different and this positive feedback will inspire us to do more in the future.

Thanks again for your comments.

Phil Dickinson Sports Manager

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Response from Tim Wood, Manager, NOTTINGHAM FOCUS ON WELLBEING

picture of Tim Wood

Dear Simxp2

This story represents the excellent journey you have made in your recovery. I am so pleased that your leave went so well.

Your passionate story about Manchester United demonstrates your compassion and huge ability to be able to share your interests, this clearly demonstrates how far you have come on your recovery journey. I hope your story proves to be inspirational to other patients/service users who may be struggling at this time to see a way forward.

Thank you for sharing this; I am hoping to get out to Wathwood for a visit soon and look forward to catching up with you.

Best wishes Tim

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