Football sessions to help unemployed

Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s official charity is launching free football sessions for unemployed men and women in Hastings.

Albion in the Community (AITC) will provide two-hour football sessions at FSN in London Road, St Leonards, every Monday between 10am and 12noon and the YMCA in St Pauls Road every Tuesday between 10am and 12noon.

Each football session is followed by a half an hour post-match mentoring and support.

The new scheme is part of the Albion Goals project which runs at a host of venues across Sussex.

The charity says: “At AITC football is for everyone! We use the power of the game and the reach of the club to engage and inspire local people of all ages and from all backgrounds. We deliver a huge range of football programmes – from fun-based soccer schools for girls and boys, to a comprehensive player development programme, closely linked with the club’s academy, and innovative programmes for people with disabilities.

We use football to help people get their lives back on track, dealing with homelessness and unemployment. We use football to help people deal with mental health issues, or get back into exercise and improve their health. To us, that’s what football’s all about.”

The idea of Albion Goals is to use football as a way of engaging with people and helping them build self-esteem and develop new skills. Sessions have proved to be a successful springboard to employment or training opportunities for many of the participants.

The post-football sessions will focus on helping participants learn key life skills in a footballing context while acquiring other skills necessary for gaining employment.

Darren Horsman, who runs the sessions for AITC, said: “Our Albion Goals projects elsewhere in Sussex have proved hugely successful and the new sessions in Hastings are a brilliant opportunity for local people to not only enjoy regular football but also learn some new life skills along the way.”

For more information contact Darren on 07772 165388 or email darren.horsman@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.