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.

Contact for more details, or ring 01642 767674

Dementia Provision Comes In For Rich Praise

Our provision for those living with dementia has come in for rich praise.

Jason Vincent is the Safeguarding and EDI Manager at Millwall FC Community Trust and he made the trip north to see for himself.

Arriving at the Riverside early in the morning, Jason was quickly on his way to Saltburn with our team who were at a care home as part of a Boro memorabilia visit – such visits are a weekly occurrence throughout the area.

After a quick lunch – fish and chips of course, mandatory when visiting the coastal town – Jason was back at the Riverside taking part in one of our monthly dementia dances held in association with Dementia Action Teesside.

Before catching a late train back to London, Jason reflected: “How can I put into words how good today has been? I’ve found it amazing. It’s been so fun. People dancing, smiling, talking and chatting over a cup of tea and a few biscuits and I’ve felt so welcomed by everyone.

“I’ll tell anyone who asks, today I’ve been visiting all the wonderful work which Middlesbrough FC Foundation does. How you engage with communities and deliver some marvellous projects such as the inclusion dances. It’s been great to meet the people involved.”

Jason was visibly moved by what he witnessed and he was a welcome visitor too, engaging as he did with everyone he met.

“It’s such a worthwhile project to help people living with dementia. I’ve spoken to carers and people who have lost loved ones and it’s such a good place for people to share their experiences and talk and really feel how they feel – which is important. I’ve experienced all of that today. It’s been wonderful.”

If you would like to know more about our visits to care homes, or monthly dementia dances, ring 01642 757674 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday, or e-mail