Working in close partnership with the Saints Foundation, and with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, we have been using sport as a catalyst for change, and we are very proud of the huge successes achieved by individuals. Sport really has changed their lives for the better!
The project offers free educational, sport and employment support activities to adults who are affected by the harmful impact of substance misuse, homelessness, poor mental health and involvement with the Criminal Justice System.
We offer a structured timetable of activities, which includes gym sessions, cycling, Tai Chi, golf, fishing, keep fit, boxing and of course, football – there is something for everyone!
Alongside the physical activities we also offer many other opportunities for people to develop their skills and confidence, including access to training and education, with courses such as Health and Social Care, First Aid, Stewarding, Criminology and Customer Service available. We also have a brilliant partnership with Whitbread and their Premier Inn hotels, which provides a two-week work placement for people accessing the project and this has resulted in many of them securing both part-time and full-time employment.
Saints4Sports also works in partnership the criminal justice system, approved premises and supporting agencies, and engagement with the programme is a compulsory requirement for people within the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Service and/or people with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR).
Case Study – Aaron
Two years ago, after the end of a relationship, Aaron became depressed and begun to drink heavily. This further fueled his depression and got him in trouble with the police which led to Aaron having to complete a two-year community order through the probation service.
Probation made a referral and Aaron joined Saints4Sport. He confessed:
I was really low and really lacked self-confidence when I started Saints4Sport.
When I started the course it was challenging because I was anxious in meeting new people.
But, after the first few sessions, I made lots of friends and they all knew my name, which was a boost.
It’s great to feel accepted as part of the group and I got my self-confidence back.
Not only was Aaron getting stuck in within the Saints4Sport group, but he was going the extra mile in the projects employability schemes too. Aaron completed accreditation in First Aid, stewarding at spectator events and customer service.
Due to the efforts of Aaron, he now works for Halo, the football club’s catering and events arm, a job that he loves and has been doing for a year now. Aaron added:
If you want anything in life, you have to earn it. This has taught me when you put the effort into yourself, you can be rewarded.
I now work at the stadium and down at the training ground. I love it.
If you would like more information on Saints4Sports or how to refer someone, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org