Today EFL clubs come together to highlight the impact football has in changing people’s lives and the work taking place to support their communities through an incredibly tough year.
Here at Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme (SWFCCP) has worked closely with Refugee Council to provide programmes that support refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Sheffield.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, SWFCCP provided weekly football sessions at Middlewood Road for both male and female refugees.
The scheme engaged with 40 participants and provided pathways into other mainstream community provisions such as Premier League Kicks to widen the delivery.
Through the UK national lockdown SWFCCP were approached by Refugee Council after 150 new arrivals in the city were facing various issues such as lack of money, clothes, contact with family and knowledge of how long they will be in the city. This, coupled with isolation due to the pandemic, had a detrimental effect on their mental health.
After restrictions were relaxed, funding from Sheffield City Council and Yorkshire Sport allowed the Community Programme to provide football sessions on a weekly basis. SWFCCP have donated over 40 football kits to reduce the barriers to access for these sessions.
SWFCCP has continued to adapt to further lockdowns by providing interactive fitness sessions on a weekly basis. Drop-in sessions have also allowed the Community Programme to meet the beneficiaries, motivate them and break down barriers.
Funding from Yorkshire Sport has provided a basketball net, badminton net, over 100 resistance bands and skipping ropes for the centre.
To celebrate the EFL Day of action and to consider the beginning of Ramadan, SWFCCP will be providing fitness drop-ins to accommodate for individuals who are fasting. The Community Programme will also focus on scheduling a timetable of activities including football, basketball and fitness in an attempt to again deliver a degree of normality in these difficult times.