Last month, Football Beyond Borders were invited to talk about their anti-discrimination and pro-equality campaigns and offer some football coaching to some of the teenagers at Body & Soul in Clerkenwell, London. The invitation was made by Katie Hayes, a participant in FBB’s Women Beyond Borders project and a volunteer at the HIV charity (you can read her blog about the workshop on the FBB Blog).
Body & Soul is a charity dedicated to supporting families and children living with or closely affected by HIV. Their approach provides bespoke support and expert programming aiming to counteract the devastation an HIV positive diagnosis may bring. One of their key programmes, “Teen Spirit”, is exclusively aimed at 13-19 year olds and holds service days providing peer and practical support tailored to the specific and complex needs of their members. Many members suffer from a lack of self-esteem, and so Katie invited FBB in to run a football workshop that would offer helpful tips aimed to build their confidence both on and off the pitch.
The workshop was combined with a speech from FBB’s Head of Communications Tom Perez, who spoke about the humble origins of FBB and the power that youth-led projects can have and motivated them to make positive changes in their lives and their communities by tackling what is important to them. One of the participants on the day was impressed with the speech, and said: “It’s not that I don’t like football or anything, but what was great was how the presenter didn’t just talk about football… he talked about discrimination, racism and the riots, which a lot of us can relate to.”
Despite the football workshop being more popular with the boys, a few females joined in the football skills session; one of which had experienced discouragement from playing football from her family and peers. Having the Women Beyond Borders female coach JJ there to offer her some advice and support meant that FBB helped to inspire more women to get involved in the beautiful game. FBB hopes to deliver more sessions at Body & Soul in the future, helping to bring positive messages to local communities and young people. Both FBB and Body & Soul work tirelessly to help shape a world where stigma and discrimination are diminished, and where everyone can be offered hope and inspiration to achieve their goals and dreams. Jack Badu, one of the coaches who delivered the workshops said, “The positive power of football once again showed itself. I had so much fun working with young people with a diverse range of abilities. I’d love to work with this organisation in the future because the work they do is so crucial. As head of coaching, I hope FBB will continue to support young and vulnerable people through collaborations with amazing organisations like Body & Soul.”
You can find out more about Body & Soul at their website: http://www.bodyandsoulcharity.org/.
You can also watch a video about their work below: