Brentford FC Community Sports Trust launched its Twinning project at HMP Bronzefield in Ashford earlier this month. The initiative, which aims to tackle the high reoffending rate by women in the UK, will involve a ten-week training programme to upskill participants and offer them a positive pathway when they are released. The course is accredited by the FA and will focus on helping prisoners develop leadership skills, form positive relationships, understand the laws of the game, and build their technical football skills in outdoor training sessions. The aim is for the participants to develop and demonstrate key qualities and skills for employment both within football and beyond once they are released.
Speaking after the first session, Graham Goodden, Communities Engagement Manager at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, said: “With only 17 per cent of offenders entering the workplace upon release, we hope that this pilot will provide the participants with lifelong skills they can use long-term. We started the project by working on key qualities such as teamwork and communication, which will work towards their FA qualification.”
Launched in October 2018, the Twinning Project is bringing together professional football clubs and prisons across the UK to use football as a catalyst for change to provide real opportunities to better prepare prisoners for release, find employment and reduce reoffending which is a huge cost to the country and local communities.
Cliff Crown, Chairman of Brentford FC, said: “The Twinning Project is a fantastic initiative and I am delighted that Brentford are one of the first 46 clubs to engage with the scheme. Our Trust coaches will have a chance to make a real impact on the lives of those in custody and our experience tells us that will make a difference. I have pledged the support of the Club to ensure we do all we can to make our partnership with HMP Bronzefield a success.”