IT’S no secret that I’m a football fan, so I was particularly pleased to join the FA in Parliament last week to support its vision to transform grassroots football across England.

I backed the FA’s pledges to transform grassroots football over the coming decade, which include ensuring every adult and child has access to a great community football facility, using football to improve the physical and mental health of the nation, and doubling the number of women and girls taking part in football.

The FA published its report detailing football’s wider social and economic value.

Its findings show that grassroots football has a social wellbeing value of £8.7bn, with players reporting significantly higher levels of general health, confidence, motivation and trust compared with those who play other sports. It saves the NHS £42m through reduced GP visits alone.

Of course, like many of you, I know that football enriches lives. It certainly enriches mine. But the FA’s research demonstrates the clear value of supporting grassroots football.

Here in Stroud constituency, I see plenty of evidence of the vibrancy of community football. I was pleased to join Gloucestershire FA at Rodborough Youth FC and Rodborough SSE Wildcats earlier this year to see the work our county FA is doing to support grassroots football, and I know that we have many active clubs across Stroud.

It’s vital they get the support they need to develop and thrive and I will continue to be cheering football on.

My caseworkers will be at Wynn’s Coffee Shop, High Street, Stonehouse on Thursday, July 25, 1.30pm to 3pm, offering advice on all kinds of issues, from benefits to accessing services.

They will also be at the Prince Albert, Rodborough on Thursday, August 8, 4pm to 5.30pm.