Many of the 3-4,000 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children who come to the UK every year are young people who possess great potential for the future.
However, they can sometimes feel powerless, disconnected and socially excluded as they try to settle into a new community. Football is the most popular sport in the world, an excellent form of physical exercise and an ideal way to bring people from different backgrounds together in a spirit of fun and friendship.
Football United provides a weekly social football activity for young refugees in South London. Run by a qualified football coach and a team of volunteers, it provides an opportunity for refugees to meet and connect, while at the same time keep physically fit. Football United is run by a team of volunteers, which meets every week at a local football club to host a series of football training exercises followed by a friendly match. Working with the Refugee Council, the Football United programme is aimed at unaccompanied minors who have recently settled in the UK.
Football United was launched in December 2016, and in the past year has reached 150 young refugees from a variety of different countries, who have attended the programme.