Lincoln City are one of the first professional football clubs to partner with the Twinning Project. The project, driven by David Dein, former vice-chairman of Arsenal and the Football Association aims to bring together professional football clubs and prisons across the UK to tackle the high re-offending rate by using football as a catalyst for change.
The first 32 football clubs have agreed to engage in the Twinning Project to pair with their local prisons. Through the initiative the clubs, in conjunction with other football bodies, will work with PE officers from the Prison Service to deliver coaching, stewarding, lifestyle skills, and other employability-based qualifications to prisoners to help them prepare for release. Additionally, the PGMOL will deliver refereeing courses. These qualifications will provide a vital route to paid employment which is proven as a key factor in reducing reoffending and helping prisoners to rebuild their lives.
The aim is to provide real opportunities to better prepare prisoners for release, find employment and reduce re-offending which is a huge cost to the country and local communities. Currently in the UK adults re-offend at a rate of 63.8% and juveniles re-offend at a rate of 41.6% in the twelve months after release.
Currently we are supporting HMP Lincoln by providing the prisoners with a Sports Leaders course. This course covers communication, leadership, sports knowledge whilst initiating creative thinking. All of these skills are fundamental to improving the relationship between the prisoner and their children by allowing them to become a positive influence.
Paul Yates, Governor at HMP Lincoln said, “We are proud and excited to be part of the upcoming Twinning Project and Lincoln City Football Club. We have been working with Lincoln City for some time and I have personally witnessed the impact sport has with the prisoners in terms of their learning, behaviour and improved family links. As Governor of HMP/YOI Lincoln, I am very clear that sport and exercise helps prisoners improve their fitness, learn coaching and family related sporting activities and ultimately contribute to reducing reoffending on release.”
David Dein MBE, former Vice Chairman of Arsenal Football Club and the Football Association, and founder of the Twinning Project commented, “Since its launch, the Twinning Project has seen huge interest and enthusiasm from across the UK football family and Prison Service. We have also had interest from international clubs and prisons, as well as other sporting organisations, who wish to replicate what we are doing. It is testament to the vision and purpose of the Twinning Project that such a large group of football clubs have agreed to participate in trying to tackle a difficult problem in our society. We are in active talks with many other clubs and look forward to welcoming them to the Twinning Project as we roll out as widely as possible across football and the Prison Service.
“Among the first 32 clubs, a number of their Community Departments are already doing great work with their local prisons while others will be starting for the first time. Together as part of the Twinning Project, we will build on this momentum, bring structure and help to use football as a force for good that will deliver real change for people and communities across the UK.”
As of today, the following football clubs have also agreed to the Twinning Project: Arsenal, Aston Villa, AFC Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol Rovers, Bury, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Doncaster Rovers, Everton, Exeter City, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Lincoln City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Millwall, Newcastle United, Notts County, Oldham Athletic, Plymouth Argyle, QPR, Rochdale, Rotherham United, Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, Tranmere Rovers and West Ham United.
The Twinning Project is backed by UK Government as part of nationwide efforts to reduce reoffending rates and has been endorsed across the football community including the FA, Premier League, English Football League, PFA, PGMOL and LMA. To learn more about the Twinning Project, visit www.twinningproject.co.uk.