We all love a trip to the football, the sights, the noise, the crowd, it’s one of the highlights of the week. But for kids with Special Educational Needs such as Autism and anxiety, getting their football fix might not be quite so pleasurable.
U’s fan and parent Richard Nurse knows all about this, after recently attending a game with his son Freddie.
“The first time we came to the Abbey, it was a real struggle for my son. Even though he met people he knew outside the ground, all the sounds, the crowds and the strange situation overwhelmed him. Inside the ground, it wasn’t any easier. We managed to get through the game but he struggled massively. Now, having seen the leadership that Cambridge United have shown to support inclusivity it fills me with pride. Knowing that Cambridge United have support such as noise-cancelling headphones and the picturepath image guide, other parents bringing children to the Abbey should find it a much calmer and enjoyable experience.”
Inspired by this experience Richard decided to found Picturepath, an app that uses visual timelines to support parents and children with SEN and helps reduce anxiety surrounding the events of a match.
Cambridge United are the first club to make Picturepath’s visitor guide available to their supporters, with several more clubs to be announced in the coming weeks. The guides allow fans to better manage their expectations and reduce anxiety by building visual timelines that map out their matchday experience. The app uses images from each specific stadium including transport links, stadium entrances, routes to seats, toilets, catering and navigating back home.
Speaking of the collaboration, Cambridge United’s Fan Director Dave Matthew-Jones said, “I am really keen to make our matchday experience at the Abbey as inclusive as possible, providing facilities and support that meet the needs of all of our supporters’ interests. It is fantastic to be at a club that truly supports this. I am delighted that the work we are doing with picturepath strengthens our offering for fans, in particular those with additional needs.”
To learn more about Picturepath visit their website: https://mypicturepath.com/ or Twitter: https://twitter.com/mypicturepath and you can download the App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Android Store