Brentford FC’s Chairman Cliff Crown joined representatives from the Twinning project and the Club’s Community Sports Trust for a visit to the Twining project at Bronzefield women’s prison in Ashford last month. The project, now in its final phase, upskills participants through an FA coaching qualification. Established in 2018 by David Dein MBE, former Vice Chairman of Arsenal FC and the Football Association, the Twinning project aims to bring together professional football clubs and prisons across the UK to provide positive pathways for participants and tackle high reoffending rates.
Cliff said: “The Twinning Project is a fantastic initiative and I was very pleased to be able to visit Bronzefield and see it in action. Brentford were one of the first clubs to engage with this scheme and our Trust coaches have already made a real impact on the lives of those in custody. I am sure they will continue to do so.
“During my visit I was able to talk with coaches and participants about ways that working with Brentford FC and our Trust will help. Coach development is important for the future of our game and this partnership benefits all. The participants will have something tangible they can do when they get out and young people all over the area will be able to learn from someone who can coach them and also give them the benefit of life experience. This is a real pathway to a better future for so many people and I have reiterated my pledge that the Club will we do all we can to make our partnership with HMP Bronzefield a success.”
Brentford FC Community Sports Trust has been running the project at Bronzefield prison since October 2019 and has already seen significant results. With only 17 per cent of offenders entering the workplace upon release, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust is in discussions with Brentford FC to offer volunteering and work placement opportunities for participants upon their release.
One participant said: “I really enjoy the programme and it has helped me with my confidence and understanding the importance of teamwork. My children are so proud that I am doing this qualification and it has given me hope that I can get involved with women’s football when I get out.”
Hilton Freund, CEO of the Twinning Project, said: “The fantastic work of the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust at Bronzefield encapsulates the Twinning Project’s belief that sport can change lives. Brentford’s ability to engage the disengaged will help provide the participating women with opportunities upon release that they may not have otherwise had.”
For more information about the Twinning project please email [email protected]