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 paul.south@mfcfoundation.co.uk for more details, or ring 01642 767674

Stewart Smith Memorial Trophy

A MEMORIAL tournament that will ensure the name of a lifelong Boro fan and former trustee of MFC Foundation lives on is to be staged at the end of this month.

Fittingly, the Stewart Smith Memorial Trophy, a football tournament aimed at U7-U12-year-olds, will be staged over two days at the Herlingshaw Centre where seven years ago he cut the ribbon on a brand new 3G outdoor pitch.

Stewart sadly past away before he had time to add to his considerable legacy throughout the Teesside area, but he family are determined his work will continue to benefit communities he was so proud to be part of.

A trustee of MFC Foundation between 2013 and 2019, Stewart was the Foundation’s Chair for approaching four of those years from April 2013 to August 2016.

He helped shape the Foundation in the way you see it today, mixing the passion for his football club with his vision in the world of business to the benefit of communities throughout the area. It was that business acumen that saw him named North East Executive of the Year in 2010 – a moment of great pride.

Like many a proud Teessider, Stewart began watching the Boro from the Boys End at Ayresome Park and remained a fan for the rest of his life. It was an immensely proud time for him when his company, Ramsdens, was on the shirts of his beloved Boro for seven years between 2010 and 2017 and then as Ramsdens Currency for a further year.

If you would like to know more details about the Stewart Smith Memorial Trophy which will held on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May, please e-mail Sean at sean.mackin@mfcfoundation.co.uk or ring the Herlingshaw Centre on 01642 282128