Ahead of this week’s 2023 EFL Week of Action campaign, Wrexham AFC striker Paul Mullin joined in with one of the Club’s Autism-Friendly Football Sessions during the half-term holiday.
The sessions take place every half-term and are open to different age groups, so they are accessible to all who wish to take part.
Each session that takes place is organised in conjunction with the National Autistic Society and run by the Wrexham AFC Community Trust.
The Wrexham branch of the National Autistic Society covers the cost for each child that attends one our half-term sessions, making them free of charge for each participant.
In September, we received the Autism Friendly Award by the National Autistic Society which recognises our continued work to support families in the community.
At the session, run by the Wrexham AFC Community Trust, we were visited by Sky Sports News, the EFL and Henry Winter from The Times.
The session highlighted not only our work in the community, but also the importance it holds to those who participate each half term.
This year also marks the ten-year anniversary of the UK’s first ever Autism-Friendly football match, which the Club was proud to host at Y Cae Ras with support from the Wrexham DSA.
Autism is a subject which is very close to Paul’s heart, and he explained how much he enjoyed being part of the day.
He said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to do what they want to do and for these children it’s football and it’s unbelievable that the Club put these sessions on, and they’ve all left with smiles on their faces.
“The Football Club is the community, and the community is the Football Club and it’s only right, now we’re in the position to give back, that we should do so.
“I’ve enjoyed coming down to the session and spending time with them because it brings them joy so it’s something that I love doing.”
The Club also places its importance supporting those with additional needs on a matchday, with our Quiet Zone and Sensory Room at the STōK Cae Ras.
To help those supporters feel comfortable on a matchday, we offer quiet walkabout sessions where supporters can benefit from having a quiet walkabout of the stadium while it is closed, to familiarise themselves prior to a busy match day.
The Quiet Zone has become its own community and is highlighted in the FX docuseries Welcome to Wrexham.
To have the increased community work by the Club highlighted on a national scale is important, and our Head of Community John Widdowson said: “It is fantastic to see our work in the community broadcast to the Nation during the EFL Week of Action.
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the sessions, including the families who make our Autism Friendly Football the community it is.
“It is also important for us to recognise that this year we are celebrating ten years since the first Autism Friendly football game which was played at Y Cae Ras. We are proud to continue the Club’s tradition of being trailblazers when it comes to making football accessible."