This afternoon sees the beginning of a new season and for the first match at the Abbey Stadium we welcome everyone from Oxford United. Both clubs have had a similar history playing in and winning the Southern League title and followed by being elected into the Football League. Unfortunately, both then lost their places in the Football League before fighting their way back again and reaching League 1
In recent years the supporters' groups of both clubs have assisted each other. They are still doing so even now by trying to find ways that will benefit their supporters. Ideas, advice and information has always been exchanged between the groups and outside the ninety minutes of match day all supporters should help each other to create a better game.
This time last year Cambridge United were embarking on one of the most successful seasons in the club's history. To achieve that success meant everyone coming together from the players on the pitch to the supporters at home to becoming one team together. To achieve the results required this season we will once again need everyone to come together again and also keep the faith throughout the season. We may be underdogs but we can always be United in Endeavour.
Today will see a new app in operation that is aimed at reducing the anxiety for SEN children coming to matches. Picture Path is an app that individuals or families can download for free and provides a visual timeline to be used to reassure those with additional needs what to expect when undertaking activities
Simon King has taken a series of pictures around the stadium and surrounding areas, public transport etc. These images will be turned into symbols and made available for all fans who have downloaded the picturepath app (free download from the apple and google play stores). Users will then be able to create a visual timeline which is personalised to each fan and can be updated at any time during the day. This will reduce stress and anxiety, especially amongst people who are autistic, or have dementia or Alzheimer's, providing a visual reminder of what to expect. Fans who are visiting grounds for the first time, or haven't been for a while, will also benefit from having a visual guide and this will improve their experience.
People with autism (and similar conditions) find change to be difficult to cope with and if they cannot visualise an event or sequence of events, this creates anxiety. For an autistic child or adult who likes football, the number of people and the number of images and senses that they are processing can be very hard to process. There is a lot of evidence that providing a visual timeline reduces the anxiety and stress for these individuals. For parents with autistic children, a visual guide is a very powerful tool to reduce stress and can make the difference between being able or unable to visit an event as a family. My Picture Path web can be found via the link https://mypicturepath.com/
The club also has a range of equipment that can be used on match days or when visiting the ground see https://www.cambridgefansunited.org/sound-sensory.html the equipment ranges for ear plugs to ear defenders and stress reducers. If contacted in advance of a match we can ensure your entry into the ground can be made easier. Email CFUmp@outlook.com if you would any further information
Please look after yourself and enjoy following the team home and away this season.
The away travel coach being orgainsed for the Accrington match. You can book a seat via https://tinyurl.com/4ppx7ea4
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