Football clubs train for prison project

Three football clubs have joined forces to devise a football and mentoring project in local prisons.

Supported by the Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime, and funded by the EFL Trust, Exeter City Community Trust have linked up with their counterparts at Plymouth Argyle and Cardiff City to develop the programme over the last nine months.

Justin Coleman, Co-founder and Secretariat for the Alliance, explained: “Using football and other sports as an engagement tool, participants will undergo an eight-week programme which includes education, employability and proprietary mentoring, leading onto community mentoring when released.

“Our training has given coaching staff from Exeter, Plymouth and Cardiff’s community trusts the chance to collaborate with staff from the prisons’ gym and education departments, learning each other’s systems, ways of operating, procedures and – most importantly – expectations of each other and the roles they each play within the process of the participants’ journey.”

In his blog on the Alliance’s website, Justin explained: “We look at how to build resilience, the importance of positive role models and understanding appropriate goal-setting at different stages of people’s journey of chance.”

When the training of delivery staff is finished in October, the next stage for the Alliance is to collect evidence on how effective it has been. The first pilot programmes will launch in HMP Cardiff then HMP Channings Wood later this year, with a third planned to follow in HMP Exeter.

To find out more, read Justin’s blog on the Alliance of Sport website