TWINNING Project confirmed as the official umbrella for all collaborative projects between football and HM Prison and Probation Service.
Plymouth Argyle is delighted to announce that, along with 31 other Premier League and English Football League clubs, we are part of the Twinning Project.
Launched on October 31, 2018, the Twinning Project aims to bring together professional football clubs and prisons across the UK to use football as a catalyst for change. The project aims to provide real opportunities to better prepare prisoners for release, find employment and reduce re-offending.
It will be delivered by the club’s official charity, Argyle Community Trust, in conjunction with other football bodies and the Prison Service, to support the Twinning project in reaching their objectives.
David Dein MBE, 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.”
Coaching, stewarding, lifestyle skills, and other employability-based qualifications will be delivered to prisoners to help them prepare for release, Mark Lovell, Argyle Community Trust CEO, said: “These qualifications will provide a vital route to paid employment, which is proven as a key factor in reducing re-offending and helping prisoners to rebuild their lives.”
Argyle Community Trust will be twinned with HMP Channings Wood and HMP Exeter and is championed by the EFL Trust who has provided funding.
Justice Secretary David Gauke added: “I am delighted to see so many football clubs supporting this wonderful project.
“Rehabilitation should be at the heart of every prison and, although I am clear that offenders are sent to prison as punishment, they should leave with it having been a real turning-point in their lives.
“The Twinning Project provides opportunities for offenders to do just that, a true chance for change, which offers dedicated training opportunities, coaching qualifications and fosters skills such as teamwork, leadership and confidence – ultimately helping to reduce reoffending.
“I want to extend my thanks to David for his dedication and determination in kick-starting this work and I am confident that together we can make a real difference and help prisoners turn their backs on crime.”
As of today, the following football clubs have 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.
Courses are expected to launch during the second quarter of 2019.
The Twinning Project is backed by the Government and the UK’s leading football bodies, including the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League, PFA, PGMOL and LMA. The scheme will be open to men, women and young offenders in custody.
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