Following Croydon's #WeStandTogether Campaign of 2017, CVA pledged to find a way to help refugees and those from new communities to feel more integrated into the wider community.
CVA successfully applied to the Mayor's London Together Campaign, managed by Comic Relief to deliver a new project that uses sport as a tool to improve social integration between refugees and the mainstream sports sector in Croydon.
We will work with community organisations who are supporting refugees and are interested in the impact that sport and physical activity can have on an individuals' mental and physical wellbeing.
We will focus on creating a team of volunteer activators, who will be refugees themselves, and who are passionate about using sport to engage people and improve their lives. CVA will train them and support them to set up informal activities for their peers.
However, we are also looking for community sports clubs who want to ensure their clubs are welcoming to all. We will give training and additional support to clubs plus provide a volunteer placement from one of our activators to encourage more refugees to progress into local clubs on a permanent basis.
We aim to provide a collective of 'Croydon Welcomes' sports clubs that will receive additional funding and capacity support to make them more sustainable and more reflective of the community in which they operate. As a spin off, they may also find a new Mo Farah, Victor Moses or Luol Deng amongst their new club members.
Launching the project!CVA launched the We Stand Together project as part of Amnesty’s Football Welcomes campaign supported by Palace for Life Foundation at the Crystal Palace game against Everton on Saturday 27th April!
The Amnesty Campaign celebrates the contribution that professional players such as Christian Benteke and Victor Moses who were once refugees have made to sport. But much smaller clubs in Croydon can also benefit from potential new members.
We Stand Together translates this national campaign into local action, celebrating the contribution of refugees locally and using sport to improve social integration across Croydon.
Frank: A young refugee from Uganda's story
Palace for Life Foundation teamed with Crisis over Christmas to provide football coaching sessions to people experiencing homelessness in Croydon. A group of players also had the chance to represent Palace in a tournament hosted by Arsenal. Frank was one of the people who took part and he told us what it meant to him.
One of those who took part was Frank, an asylum seeker from Uganda Frank also has a clear passion for his community and helping others and he has been volunteering with his free time away from college. He helps run a football session for refugees in association with Croydon Voluntary Action and has also volunteered with Palace for Life Foundation.
“There is a group I’m in called Rainbows Across Borders and we meet every month, it was there that I met Christine [Double], from CVA and she gave me more information about football and volunteering. I got interested because I love football, it’s always been football for me. Through the London FA I did my FA Level 1 in Coaching, which I finished recently.” Read more