Football Welcomes

Refugee group line up for a photo in a football goal

MFC Foundation have teamed up with the Methodist Asylum Project (MAP) and the North Riding FA to deliver a three-year pilot project funded through Amnesty International aiming to create more welcoming communities for  refugees and those seeking asylum in the local area.

The Football Welcomes initiative will see the Foundation offer football and educational provision for those who have sought asylum in Middlesbrough as a result of fleeing war, conflict and the risk of persecution in their home countries.

The participants are from all over the world: Iran, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine and many more.  At Football Welcomes, they will get the chance to work together as a team, to develop skills, and remember the fun and sense of belonging which team membership gives.

They will also get a real sense that Middlesbrough, through the football club Foundation, is extending welcome and friendship, which is a priceless feeling for anyone.

The weekly sessions held at the Herlingshaw Centre and other facilities across the Middlesbrough area see male and female participants take part in ESOL provision, football and also receive volunteering opportunities at the Foundation and the football club.

In creating more welcoming communities, the Foundation is looking to create alliances with supporters groups, encouraging regular attendance at sessions and friendly matches throughout the year.

Herlingshaw Pitches Get A New Lease Of Life

A grant from the Football Foundation and a lot of hard work has transformed the outdoor pitches at MFC Foundation’s Herlingshaw Centre.

Following plenty of use and Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the pitches were in a poor condition, in particular the goalmouths.

Groundsmen Tyler Woodrow and Jordon Bowker set about making it right.

Levelling was required, with seed and root zone needed, together with a thorough cleanout as well as top dressing and a form of de-compaction.

All pitches were cut very short, and scarified, helping remove a small percentage of thatch, thus helping drainage issues in the winter. A considerable amount of debris was also removed.

A mini top dress with the existing soil helped with divot levels, then the pitches were seeded three times.

Sand drainage channels were created in wet areas to help connect to the main drains, while the goalmouths and other wet areas were levelled and hand seeded.

The renovation continued with the application of fertiliser, while germination sheets were applied to goalmouths and other bad areas to speed up recovery.

Watering was conducted mainly at night and after five weeks small areas started to improve.

Just two weeks later a major improvement could be seen and while it will take a little longer for the whole process to be seen to its best effect, the pitches are now better than they have been for a long time and ready for you to show your skills.

If you want to hire a pitch, e-mail michael.mackin@mfcfoundation.co.uk, or ring the centre on 01642 282128