19 Jun FOUNDATION HELPS REFUGEES THROUGH FOOTBALL SESSION!
Huddersfield Town Foundation has been proving a session for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in partnership with Kirklees Council.
Kirklees continues to be a welcoming community, understanding and building on the benefits migration brings.
Taking place on a Monday between 4pm and 5pm, our session helps participants that may be feeling isolated and stranded to start building relationships and bring a sense of structure and belonging to their lives.
Through our delivery of Refugee Football, the Foundation has helped to support our participants with clothing and equipment, as well as opportunities such as taking them to Town’s game against Sheffield United, where a victory helped keep the Terriers in the Championship.
Health manager Oliver Cundill explained more about Refugee Football.
He said: “Refugee Football is a session for any asylum-seeking refugee to come down, get some physical exercise, and make friends.
“Many of these refugees are located in hotels across Kirklees and Kirklees Council brings them down to the session where we will do some football drills and have a game and build a bond with the participants.
“The whole point of the session is to uplift the participants – we have brought them in and have helped them to settle into the community.
“It has been good to see them building friendships on the sessions and communicating with staff and luckily, we have our casual coach Mahmoud Haydar who speaks Arabic, which has been a big factor in helping bridge any barriers.
“We have had many projects involving the participants. We had a partnership with Umbro who donated some football boots for us which we provided for the refugees to wear during the sessions, as well as donations from other participants across our programmes.
“We have also given out clothing including old staff kit and spare shirts and as soon as we handed these objects out and they realised it was for them, their faces lit up.
“We also took the guys who regularly attend the session to the Huddersfield Town versus Sheffield United game where we all sat together and enjoyed the game, and the participants were ecstatic.
“With the items and opportunities that we have been able to give them, they are all really, really thankful that we are giving them our time and giving them a chance to progress.”
Kirklees Council Active Citizens and Places Officer Luc Bride praised the work that the Foundation has done to support the individuals.
Bride said: “It is amazing for them because once they have been placed in a hotel, like the guys at Stanley Mills or in the Huddersfield Hotel, there’s nothing else to fill their days or their time because they’re also not allowed to work, so it is important for people to have things to do.
“The added benefit of being with the Foundation is that they are working with a professional organisation that knows the community, are running some great sessions, giving them something physical to do, creating that cohesion, and it is so heartwarming to see them support these guys who have arrived with nothing but the clothes on their back.
“It is really great that the Foundation has gone above and beyond to look after these guys and have helped to give them some meaningful relationships and activities and have given them some extra stuff to wear.”
If you would like any additional information on this project or any of the other programmes we deliver, please email email@example.com with your enquiry.