Lincoln City are joining football clubs across the country this month (April) to welcome refugees and people seeking asylum, as part of Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes campaign.
Now in its fifth year, Football Welcomes celebrates the contribution players from a refugee background make to the game and highlights the role football can play in bringing people together and creating more welcoming communities.
Football Welcomes this year coincides with the return of grassroots sport as lockdown rules ease, which provides a much-needed opportunity for people to reconnect with each other and their communities and to improve mental and physical health.
At the Foundation we are particularly proud to welcome refugees and individuals from different backgrounds to our ‘Conversation Clubs’ which aim to teach English to non-native speakers in accessible community settings. Attending Conversation Classes helps our participants to progress onto further opportunities, such as employment, community volunteering, or simply feeling more able to chat to their neighbour as they pass them on the street.
Alice Carter, Place Based Social Action Manager at Lincoln City Foundation said;
“At the Foundation we recognise the power of football in bringing people together. We are at the heart of the local community, and through our Conversation Classes and wider work in the local Sincil Bank area, play an important role in creating respect and friendship across cultures”.
Lincoln is one of many clubs from across the Premier League, English Football League, FA Women’s Super League, Championship and National League, Cymru North and South, and grassroots teams that have signed up to take part in Football Welcomes.
Naomi Westland, Movement Building Manager at Amnesty International UK, said:
“With the long-awaited return of outdoor activities, we are excited to see the commitment from the footballing community to come together and welcome refugees. It’s heartening to see football clubs across the country doing great work in their communities to show there is more that unites us than divides us.”