We’re absolutely delighted to report that the Sussex Community Foundation (SCF) have just confirmed a donation of £7000 for 3 years, for our flourishing Nations United football initiative for young asylum seekers and refugees.
This funding will ensure the team can continue their weekly training and play regularly in competitive football matches, with the security of being able to plan for up to 3 years ahead. Thanks to SCF’s donation, Nations United will also be able to up its game in terms of nurturing the social benefits of the project – we will be able to develop the project and its value as a community for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young men, and young refugees living in the local area.
Nations United serves as a reliable constant in the players’ uncertain lives, a place to meet and a safe space to develop friendships, team work, self-worth, responsibility, aspirations and confidence. A major reason it has been so successful – with around 70 individual players attending over 2 years and around 25 coming to every session – is the serious focus on football training. Nations United, led by Team Captain Jelani and managed by SiC volunteer Duncan Barratt, are trained by student football coaches from the University of Chichester, so the players are getting professional-level training. They also benefit from the University’s superb facilities.
Finally, the injection of funds means we can invest in improved project management (and therefore improved value) and monitoring and evaluation of the initiative, so that we can better understand how different aspects of the project affect the players, what works (and doesn’t) and how it could be improved. Professional expertise will be sought within our network of adult refugees living locally, providing them with much-needed work experience, English practice, training and an opportunity to contribute to our community – all pathways into long-term employment.
For more information on Nations United, read our article about how Jelani and the other players started up the project, with quotes and experiences from some of the inspirational people involved.
20% of unaccompanied asylum seeking children in West Sussex are girls, and we are currently developing a project to support them, along with other young asylum seeking women and young female refugees. We are working on creating something that offers the same level of support and benefits to girls that the football does to boys. We’d love to hear from anyone who might be interested in volunteering on the girls’ initiative, and donations would of course be greatly appreciated. Areas we’re looking for help in include project development, project management, logistics, transport, communications, mentoring, venues and being a reliable presence at girls’ clubs.
Email Gemma at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.