Amazingly, 76 percent of the homeless people who took part in
the Street Football Wales (SFW) player education project last
season said that their housing situation had improved.
In 2012, a Sport Wales grant of just over £9,000 was given to
SFW - a social inclusion project partnership between Gwalia and
other statutory and voluntary sector partners - to develop a core
group of coaches to bring additional playing opportunities within
the SFW East and West League for homeless and socially excluded
In training up the participants themselves, the hope was that
the work would also boost the confidence and self -esteem of those
who took part.
"Our project predominantly involves male and females over the
age of 16 who are homeless and socially excluded,"said project
leader Keri Harris.
"We started in Swansea in 2004 but we now give access to weekly
sessions across Wales- including Caernarfon,Flint, Conwy, Wrexham,
Carmarthen, Llandovery,Swansea,Newport and Cardiff.
"Essentially we engage with those furthest away from mainstream
sports provision. Some activity was going on already, particularly
in the West around Swansea, but this project was put in place to
develop more opportunities and ensure future sustainability and
engagement through a workforce development programme."
The grant helped fund a new league structure in South East
Wales, additional teams in the existing league structures,
opportunities for those from BME communities and a trained
workforce to support activity and offer additional opportunities
for other groups.
The SFW participants are now actively involved within their
communities, not only delivering weekly training sessions but also
as part of forums for third sector mental health organisations and
services for refugees and asylum seekers, among others.
"By being involved in community services in this way the coaches
have had a positive impact on service users' physical well-being
and ability to make healthier lifestyle choices,"adds Harris.
"Participants have also developed exit routes for some players
to enter mainstream sport and have a positive impact in communities
as coaches, sports leaders and first aiders.
"It has also helped build their CVs, improve their skills,
experience, qualifications and provide potential future employers
with a checkable history and reference, and move them closer to
employability and social inclusion.
"The reality is that many of the players would find it difficult
to engage in mainstream football training and volunteer programmes
and require these opportunities in a safe and friendly
Success At A Glance
The success figures include:
- 16 x new weekly senior sessions
- 2 x new weekly BME senior sessions
- 98 x new adult participants
- 18 x new BME participants
- 12 x new senior teams
- 2 x new BME senior teams
- 44 x new Level 1 coaches
- 4 x new Level 2 coaches
- 48 x new Leaders
- 46 x First Aiders
During the 2012 season SFW carried out the Distance Travelled
Questionnaire (DTQ) with participants rating themselves on a scale
of 1 - 10 in relation to a number of life areas. The DTQ was
completed at participant's first contact and again at the end of
the season. They show significant benefits beyond the football
- 76% of participants housing situation improved
- 63% of participants mental health improved
- 77% of participants confidence and self-esteem improved
- 64% of participants relationships with support improved
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