Needham Market Football Club host Refugee Festival for Suffolk FA organised as part of Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes Month.
The Suffolk-based refugees lapped up the experience of playing on Bloomfield’s 3G pitch on Wednesday 27th April. More than 30 refugees took part in the festival which was organised by Suffolk FA with the help of various partners and hosted at Needham Market FC.
Football Welcomes month is designed to celebrate the contribution players with a refugee background make to the beautiful game, and the positive role football can play in bringing people together and creating more welcoming communities.
One of the refugees said: “We do get bored being inside a hotel all the time, so we really appreciate what you have done for us tonight.
“We will not forget what you have put on for us – it will be a nice memory for us, and we are very grateful to Sam Morsy for coming along as well.”
Suffolk FA Football Development Officer (Growth) Kirsty Smith said: “We were delighted to be able to deliver a Football Welcomes Festival for the Refugees.
“We have been working with lots of refugees across Suffolk over the last few months, so it was great to be able to bring them together and have a celebration of all the hard work.
“It’s essential that we use football as a tool to help refugees integrate into the local community and to also give them something to look forward to.
“Being able to physically exercise and socialise with their friends is vital for their mental health and wellbeing.
“It’s clear that football is a powerful force for good, bringing people together and providing a sense of belonging, and we were delighted to be able to deliver a festival for some of the refugees in the county this year.
“Football and the clubs are at the heart of their communities and can play an important role in creating respect and friendship across cultures. Hopefully this is the first of many refugee projects and initiatives we can deliver over the next few seasons.
More information can be found on the Suffolk FA website.