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Power of partnerships: Met Police

Over the past twelve months, Street Soccer London has been linking up with influential partners in the local community in order to support our players both on and off of the pitch.

In that time, we have been delighted to develop a strong relationship with the Metropolitan Police, who have been working with us at a number events in order to confidence and overall relationships between players and the police. We spoke to Community Engagement Officer, Nigel Pearce, to find out more about the partnership.

“My role with the Metropolitan Police is primarily to improve the relationship between the communities that live and work within Lambeth and Southwark and the organisation I work for. This has been a progressive partnership with Street Soccer, looking to improve trust, confidence and overall relationships between those attending and the police.”

Nigel highlights that the Met’s visits to the Black Prince Trust allow the police to listen to young people but also have honest conversation about how relationships can improve. He says “I feel like by coming in to this environment, chatting about football or even joining in, means that the young people can see someone with similar interests behind the uniform.”

With the introduction of the Bootroom at the Black Prince Trust, Street Soccer are looking to have more frequent workshops with partners such as the Met Police. Nigel believes that the relaxed environment at our base is a strong benefit to the relationship. 

“All the officers enjoy engaging with the players. By being seen on a more personal level, it allows more open and honest conversations, which can build relationships over time. We really value the power that sport has to open these doors and I believe that the programmes that Street Soccer deliver can change lives.” 

Nigel acknowledges that unfortunately the Met Police have not always got things right, but believes that working together with the community, positive change is achievable.  

“The promotion of positive interaction with police is a real progression. Working alongside SSL and the great work you are doing, we would love to be able to complement and support positive relationships and be able to address areas where we can improve. The willingness and openness from Street Soccer to provide these opportunities has been really appreciated within the organisation.” 

Programmes Coordinator Jack Badu believes that this partnership has had a positive impact on players within the programme, highlighting that “The Met Police are a long way away from being trusted by all members of our communities. Our hope is to see a change with the voices of our young people amplified using our monthly Bootroom sessions.

The police are neither the solution nor the problem as together we need to build a community where police see our young people as just young people and we as a community know who to turn to for help, support, and advice. Building a relationship and getting to know officers on a first name terms in environments that are stress free is key to this” 

Street Soccer London continues to strive for a healthier, safer and more inclusive community and believes that by working with local partners, the power of football can continue to change lives. All of our programmes are free, with drop-in sessions available for young people and adults, both male and female. You can find out more about them here. 

If you are a local organisation looking to learn more about the work we do, then please contact us via info@streetsoccerlondon.org 

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Free football for adults in Lambeth

Street Soccer London’s adult football programme has started at the Black Prince Trust in Lambeth.

The free football session, which take place every Monday from 3:00-5:00pm, is part of our wide-ranging programmes to bring the local community together through sport.

In partnership with Quay Health Solutions, our first few sessions have seen a collective mix of nationalities and cultures, where football has been the common language.

The aim of our adult programme is to support the mental health of all participating players, allowing them to connect with new people in a safe environment. Street Soccer believes that football has the power to change lives and all of our sessions are open to new players, regardless of their experience in playing football.

Programme manager Craig McManus highlighted that the lived experience of staff members at SSL will be key to progressing the programme and supporting players on their journey for positive change.

“Our new adult drop-in session is the perfect example of the support that Street Soccer can provide. Our player pathway has meant that former players Frankie and Marc have been able to lead on this session with other former players Ethan and James assisting them.

Both Marc and Frankie are able to lean on their own experience of hardships to help new players settle in to the programme. That level of trust is significant and we believe that football has a unique way of breaking down barriers.”

This session, which takes place at our base in Lambeth, is the first step for players in building the foundations for a more positive future. By engaging with Street Soccer, you can open up a wider network for support as well as being part of a caring community that will always put their players first.

If you would like to learn more on how you can engage in our adult football programme, please contact Craig on craig@streetsoccerlondon.org or Laura on laura@streetsoccerlondon.org

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Welcome to the Bootroom

Street Soccer London are pleased to launch its next phase of development in supporting young players in the community. The Bootroom is an opportunity for staff and players to connect off of the pitch, providing a chance to learn more about those at the heart of our programmes: the players.

Taking place in ‘The Space’ at the Black Prince Trust on the last Wednesday of every month, Street Soccer staff cater for all players to come and socialise in safe space with food and refreshments. This monthly event allows open discussion on important issues such as conduct, policing and other aspects of life which may be important to players in the local community.

Programme Coordinator, Jack Badu, highlighted the significance of the Bootroom’s introduction to Street Soccer’s services.

“We find that although the players learn a lot of transferrable skills through play on the pitch, we want to get the chance to know more about some of the other issues we could support them with. So far, we have had great chats on gender, harassment as well as some workshops on personal development opportunities for players.

It’s a really open environment where a lot of the players can chat one-to-one, maybe enjoy a bit of FIFA or learn more about our local partners.”

With team-building exercises and honest discussions at the heart of the work so far, Jack is looking forward to working alongside partners to develop the concept further.

“A big thanks goes to the Black Prince Trust for helping us facilitate this. We are looking ahead to some corporate opportunities so that local business partners can learn more about what our players think but also so the players can learn more about the future and what experiences may be available to them.”

With the Bootroom available to all players at Street Soccer, parents and carers can learn more about  the service by getting in touch with Jack at jack@streetsoccerlondon.org

By supporting young people through skills development both on and off the pitch, we can create a brighter future together.

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Vacancy: Head Coach (Street 45)

Street Soccer have an exciting new vacancy to lead on our new women’s only programme in Hounslow. We are looking for enthusiastic coaches who are keen to use the power of football to make positive change in the community.

Our Street45 programme aims to engage women with no previous experience of football and re-engage those who have not been able to take part by combining football, fitness and social connection activities. Our model has been run throughout Scotland, addressing low levels of female participation in mixed drop-in sessions with great success, seeing a 300% increase in participation in 2020.

Street45 aims to engage women who might be socially isolated, excluded or struggle with mental health, to create connections and networks of support. We will create a strong and supportive team within a safe environment. Sessions being women-led is key to this, not only helping keep spaces safe for women but also helping break down gender-barriers and increasing empowerment.

Our sessions will target socially excluded women over 18. Different forms of social exclusion may include homelessness, addiction, mental health issues, as well as social isolation. Our team are vastly experienced in supporting women facing these challenges, with our staff having lived experience and having managed Team England’s Women’s Team at 3 Homeless World Cups. Our focus on connection and building relationships through a person-centred, relational approach, means we can effectively tackle issues such as social isolation.

Street45 will comprise weekly 90 minutes sessions with 45 mins football and fitness ad 45 mins social connection and support. Sessions will be led by a female head coach with the support of volunteers.

We plan to create a pathway for women to further develop their football through volunteering with us and helping to run sessions, and following pathways into coaching, refereeing and volunteering. We are able to do this through our partnerships with QPR and Brentford. This will enable progression from grassroots football, with the support of Street Soccer London. It will also enable us to create our future leaders. Lived experience is central to Street Soccer and over 60% of our staff team have lived experience. We support players along a pathway through volunteering, education, sessional work and employment and would love for participants of this sessions to become leaders.

We will tackle barriers to participation for women and support individuals to overcome any social and emotional barriers they may face. We want to tackle stigma wherever we find it, in perceptions of addiction and homelessness, mental health and womens engagement in sport.

Street Soccer London has also taken on Team England for the Homeless World Cup and would work with eligibly players to progress to this opportunity. Women experiencing homelessness and social marginalisation could have the opportunity to train and connect with people with similar experiences from across the country and represent their country at an international tournament in 2022.

Interested candidates can learn more about the role by contacting Craig McManus on craig@streetsoccerlondon.org

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Homeless World Cup heading to New York

Street Soccer London is pleased to welcome the announcement from the Homeless World Cup Foundation around the return of the competition in 2022.

This years tournament will take place in New York with Street Soccer USA. Street Soccer London’s Team England are due to take place in their first World Cup as part of the Street Soccer family.

More information around the event will be announced in due course, with venue and specific dates in September still to be decided.

We look forward to working with our amazing partners across the globe in bringing together players for a special experience.

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Street Soccer squads enjoy success at Crystal Palace tournament

Street Soccer London players had a memorable experience at Crystal Palace’s Academy Training Ground this past weekend, taking part in Palace for Life’s PL Kicks tournament.

Palace for Life, the clubs community arm, kindly invited Street Soccer along on Saturday as part of the Premier League’s youth initiative. Players were in awe of the brand new facilities which opened earlier this year and with category A status is one of the best in the UK.

Street Soccer entered three teams in to the tournament and won top prize in both the under 16 and under 18 age group. Programme coordinator, Jack Badu, said that the experience was important for the players.

“We had players along from both our FAST and Black Prince Trust sessions and it was a really great way to end the year for them. It’s one of the best places I have ever been too and the boys had a good time engaging with both Palace for Life and the Met Police Taskforce both on and off the pitch.”

There was memorable success for the coaches too as new sessional worker Jose, at his first event with Street Soccer, won the under 16 trophy with one of the squads.

We thank Palace for Life for their invite as we look forward to working together in the community again soon.

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New vacancies at Street Soccer London

Street Soccer London are on the lookout for new coaches!

As we near the end of what has been a very challenging yet successful year, we are now in a position to grow our team.

We are looking to recruit:

  • Adult Programme Coordinator
  • Sessional Youth Coaches

If you are passion about helping others and have experience in supporting young people or adults, we’d love to hear from you.

At Street Soccer, we aim to use the power of sport to enable individuals to make more positive choices in their life. Both roles would be primarily based out of our office at the Black Prince Trust in Lambeth, however would involve work in other areas across London.

Our Adult Programme Coordinator is a brand new role with some exciting opportunities. The role will help grow our newly formed adult sessions, which are structured to give players a sense of security and belonging whilst sharing a passion for football. This role will also involve opportunities with Team England as part of the Homeless World Cup tournaments.

You can read the full job description, here.

As a sessional worker, you will work closely with a players 16 and under throughout the week. A sports coaching background is not compulsory, with an increasing focus on our support services throughout the community.

If you are interested in either roles, please contact Craig McManus at craig@streetsoccerlondon.org with your CV and a cover letter.

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“It’s amazing how quickly my mindset has changed” | Sanchia’s story

Street Soccer London’s commitment to female football has never been stronger and one of Team England’s Four Nations Cup champions has highlighted that the ‘family feel’ among players is bound to bring more success for newer female participants.

Sanchia, 26, is from London and has been involved with football from a young age. Having found Street Soccer earlier this year, Sanchia was involved in the Four Nations Cup in Edinburgh after being referred through another sports programme at the Black Prince Trust.

After lifting the trophy in the Scottish capital, Sanchia explains that she was the only girl in her age group to play football at primary school, joining in with the boys in order to play competitively. During her younger years, she played for Millwall, Fulham and Chelsea Soccer School, however fell away from the game in her teenage years due to a lack of security in her social circles. Having experienced homelessness and recovering from substance abuse, Sanchia highlights how rediscovering her love for football has quickly created new habits.

“It’s amazing how quickly my mindset has changed; I am now focusing on fuelling my body correctly with nutrients and thinking more positively each morning.”

Finding new connections through football has meant that she has discovered trust in her new friends, attributing this to a stronger sense of recovery.

“With the people I used to spend time with, meant it was very easy to fall back in to old habits and go down a dark path. Being part of Street Soccer brings a real sense of unity and ensures you don’t feel alone – most of us have had similar struggles and that helps build a real connection.”

After a break of almost 12 years playing football, the Four Nations tournament was a perfect opportunity for Sanchia to express herself and benefit from the beautiful game. All four nations came together across the weekend to create new friendships and Sanchia highlighted the pure joy from her team-mates and opponents really hit home.

“I took so much from that weekend. Even the teams that weren’t wining on the park, you wouldn’t know because they were on top of the world. It’s a weekend I’ll never forget and I’ve met some absolutely amazing people who I can stay in touch with and learn from.”

With a new women’s only session recently launched in Hounslow, Sanchia urged those who are keen to know more about the programme to take their chance.

 “Even though I was quite active growing up, there’s a point where your life slows down and you need more excitement.

Regardless of that, I was introduced to mentally engaging and physically active sports. Not only did it shut down insecurities but opened up passions I didn’t know I had.

Being part of this larger group helped turn my anxiety into courage due to the strength of the people that had surrounded me. It’s a hard thing to find but when you spend the time exploring, you find what is best suited for you and I think the support from Street Soccer makes it all worthwhile.”

Our Street 45 programme is structured to appeal to female players using ‘football themed’ exercise and aerobic sessions. 

Sessions are broken down into two halves – 45 minutes of fitness, followed by 45 minutes of personal development. 

Our female staff offer peer support and mentoring, and we also offer players the opportunity to take part in first aid, sports coaching and CV workshops. All sessions are open to anyone 18+ and no experience or fitness require. The programme is fun and inclusive, and it’s not just limited to football either!

Taking place every Wednesday from 1 to 2:30pm, sessions will be delivered at Heston Pools & Fitness by our new programme coordinator Sophia.

Contact Sophia to get involved, on sophia@streetsoccerlondon.org or 07751 813527

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Street Soccer’s Winter Cup goes down a storm

Street Soccer London were proud to host our very first Winter Cup last week, as over 120 kids came together to enjoy a five-a-side tournament in Lambeth.

Consisting of group stages and tiered knockouts, 17 teams arrived at the Black Prince’s Trust in high spirits. Although this was first taste of competitive football in a while for some, the vibrant atmosphere remained at the forefront as Street Soccer players engaged with teenagers across the city, making new friends in the process.

Street Soccer staff were on hand to ensure all of the teams across both the boys and girls competitions felt welcome and safe. Big well done to our winning teams who picked up their trophies across the various knockout competitions.

Rockingham FC claimed glory in the boys ‘Champions League’ knockouts, with FAST winning the ‘Europa League’ tier. Street Soccer London entered three teams across the day and one of which secured silverware in the ‘Conference League’ boys knockouts.

In the girls event, Fulham FC Foundation and Chelsea FC Foundation won the ‘Champions League’ and ‘Europa League’ trophies, respectively.

Street Soccer London players

This event was a great opportunity for our players to interact with new friends across London and raised good awareness for our programmes taking place in Lambeth and Nine Elms.

Drop-in sessions are available across the week with Adult drop ins and Girls U16 sessions starting to gain momentum on Fridays. For more information, click here.

We thank all the teams who joined us on the day to celebrate our first ever small-sided football event, we look forward to engaging with everyone again in the near future.

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Women’s football launching in Hounslow


We are delighted to be launching our women’s football programme, Street45, in Hounslow.

Our Street 45 programme is structured to appeal to female players using ‘football themed’ exercise and aerobic sessions. 

Sessions are broken down into two halves – 45 minutes of fitness, followed by 45 minutes of personal development. 

Our female staff offer peer support and mentoring, and we also offer players the opportunity to take part in first aid, sports coaching and CV workshops. All sessions are open to anyone 18+ and no experience or fitness require. The programme is fun and inclusive, and its not just limited to football either!

Taking place every Wednesday from 1 to 2:30pm, sessions will be delivered at Heston Pools & Fitness by our new programme coordinator Sophia.

Contact Craig to get involved, on craig@streetsoccerlondon.org.

Location: Heston Pools & Fitness, New Heston Road, Hounslow, TW5 0LW