Fleetwood Town Community Trust have been working with Wyre Salvation Army to help break down the barrier by delivering physical activity sessions to local refugees.
‘Together Fleetwood’ is a project that aims to demonstrate how the local residents can support refugees; whilst promoting the role of football and football fans in engaging with refugee communities. The group also attend daily English language lessons with the aim to improve their knowledge and understanding of the English culture.
Since the Syrian civil war officially began March 15, 2011, families have suffered under conflict, with hundreds of thousands of people affected with their nation torn apart. Over the last 18 months, the Salvation Army has helped families integrate into their local communities across the United Kingdom, and a number of refugees have been in Fleetwood.
Using the tool of sport, Fleetwood Town Community Trust work closely with Wyre Salvation Army in breaking down barriers by delivering physical activity and offering them opportunities to engage in community projects across Wyre and Fylde.
When it comes to understanding a refugee, it has proven that they’d be at risk if returned to their home country. They have had their claim for asylum accepted by the government and this means that they can stay in the United Kingdom long-term, or indefinitely.
Refugees have a right under UK and international law to bring their immediate family members to join them and through our programme, we hope we can break the barriers, and make them feel welcome in our local community.
John Hartley, the Community Sports Development Officer, was asked about this programme, and said: “Our aim is to assist in integrating the families into the Fleetwood community through the power of sport.
“The programme has now been delivered for two weeks and already we can see a difference in their confidence, English language and physical sporting ability.”