A group of men we support at Pipwell Manor recently went along to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London to watch West Ham play against Shrewsbury Town in an FA cup game. They are all huge football fans and had been dreaming about going to see a football match. They were accompanied and supported by Kirstie Piccaver, a Support Worker, and Dave Clarey, their Team Leader, who supported the men by driving them to the game, and giving them an experience of the West Ham Stadium.
Before the game, Dave and Kirstie had a surprise for the group, and drove them around the streets where one of their favourite TV shows ‘The Only way is Essex’ is filmed, as it was located nearby the football stadium. The people we support were amazed to see places like the ‘sugar hut’ which is a big feature in the show.
After the excitement of seeing this, the men were taken to the Olympic Stadium, and were amazed at its size, as it has a capacity of 56,000. One of the men had never been to London before and was delighted to see some of the sights for the first time.
During the match, the group all sang along to the football chants and songs, and even told staff that they felt “goosebumps”. Michael, one of the people we support, said “It was the best experience of my life!”
After a long 90 minutes of football, the game went into extra time, and finally it was West Ham who won the match. During the 2 ½ hour trip back home, everyone was absolutely buzzing after seeing a live game with premiership players. “The atmosphere was really amazing!” they all agreed.
So much so, that they have booked to see another match again soon.