VYD teamed up with Ben Monro from Refugee Charity, Enthum Foundation, to run weekly football sessions for refugees at The Manor Gym in Brighton. Our first session took place on Saturday 18th January 2020 and subsequent sessions were well attended until Covid-19 put a stop to further activity. We plan to have these sessions back up and running again in the near future all being well.

In the short term our objectives are:

  • To bring refugees together to play football, through training and practice matches, giving individuals an outlet to express themselves and socialise as well as enhancing their wellbeing. For sufferers of trauma, sport and exercise are extremely important in reducing the effects of PTSD as well as minimising the risk of developing PTSD.
  • Having a person-centred approach to our project that allows our participants to have a say in how our project develops, including exploring our identity as a group, our name, badge, identity and kit design.
  • To bring in a social aspect to our sessions that goes beyond football, including education and work experience opportunities.

Some of our overarching/long term goals would be:

  • Establishing a social club/day centre where refugees feel welcome and our sessions can help them acclimatise to their new living situation as well as improving their wellbeing.
  • To focus on education, learning English and Maths through Football.
  • To help refugees gain the requisite skills to explore employment opportunities.
  • To promote co-facilitation, where refugees start to take more ownership of the project and take the lead on running activities.
  • Building community resilience through partnering up with relevant groups: inviting refugees from relevant partner organisations in Brighton, including the Hummingbird Project, Voices in Exile and the Brighton and Hove Refugee Forum.

If you want more information or would like to become involved in our football for refugees project, email Gary Pleece on gary@vydcic.org