Norwich's international football team feels Community Cash boost
PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 February 2012
Money from the Evening News Community Cash campaign has been helping people from across the globe right here in Norwich.
The Norwich International Youth Project helps young people, including asylum seekers and refugees, to integrate into Norwich life by supporting them in their new culture.
The group serves young people aged 15 to 24 from countries including Afghanistan, Iran, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and offers life skills as well as social and sporting opportunities.
A Community Cash grant of £1,000 last year helped the group set up a football team and cover the costs of a volunteer coach – but it’s been more than the players’ football skills that have felt the benefit.
“The team has improved their team-building skills and increased the group dynamics,” said Rachel Martis, project coordinator.
“It also gave them a sense they were being looked after and that someone was investing in them. The group has become a lot more cohesive.”
This year the Evening News, the Norfolk Community Foundation and Sport Relief have another £50,000 to give away to community groups doing great work in the Norwich City Council local authority area.
Grants of £500 to £1,000 are available for charities, social enterprises and projects helping people in deprived or disadvantaged areas of Norwich.
Since it was founded in 2002, the NIYP has seen more than 150 young people come through its ranks, and currently has around 30 regular members.
The enthusiasm from the football sessions has boosted attendance at the regular Thursday night NIYP sessions at Quaker House, where young people are given language lessons and taught skills to improve their employability.
Many members have fled hardship in their own countries, and face difficulties in adjusting to a completely new culture.
Ms Martis added: “The football team has helped the group to come together in a big way, which is great because we want the group to be somewhere that they can feel at home.”
To find out more about Sport Relief Community Cash, see www.eveningnews24.co.uk or call 01603 623958