A PROJECT helping people in Newport with mental health problems through football has won a prestigious national award.

We Wear the Same Shirt, which is supported by Newport County AFC, was named Grassroots Project of the Year at the Wales and McDonald's FAW (Football Association of Wales) Grassroots Football Awards 2019.

The scheme, developed by the FAW Trust, supports people with mental health problems by helping them get into football. More than 25 people every week take part in games run by County coaches.

Members of the County in the Community Trust team were on hand at the awards ceremony at the Cardiff City Stadium last week to collect the award.

Norman Parselle, who leads the project, said: “I’ve been involved in coaching for more than 30 years and it’s the best programme I’ve ever been involved in.

“It’s not just about the sessions on a Thursday afternoon, it’s coming to help out and volunteer on match days and feeling part of the bigger picture; feeling part of society and the local community.”


Emily Edwards started out as a player, but has moved on to coaching for the Community team.

She said: “When I first came to We Wear the Same Shirt, I was low in confidence and recovering from a three-year spell in hospital.

“I was the first ever person come along. The programme has changed by life and given me confidence, allowing me to coach which is my passion.

“I can’t thank Norman Parselle enough for all his support and opportunities. I don’t know where I would be without the programme.

“My dream is to coach and thanks to We Wear the Same Shirt, it is a dream come true.”

The awards ceremony, now in its 12th year, was held on Sunday, October 13, and was attended by former Wales International players Ian Rush and Joe Ledley, presenter Michelle Owen and international striker Helen Ward.