The aim of the project Lifeline thru Football is to focus on hard to engage, long term unemployed individuals who were also in challenging housing situations – usually homeless. The aim was to enhance their potential, help them to qualifications, to gain employment and to improve their housing situation. This is through improved self-esteem, establishing leadership qualities through team work and improving life skills. A group of ten participants were involved in the programme.
They were trained in Level 2 NVQ qualification in Event Stewarding, an emergency aid qualification and worked through a conflict management programme. The academic and social delivery was wrapped in football with the days starting with 90 minutes of skills, drills and small sided games. After lunch and an afternoon workshop the ended with 3 and 5 a side matches.
Key partnerships were formed with external bodies including the Jobcentre, Probation Service, Harrogate Homeless Project, Lifeline Harrogate, Fairfax Community Centre and Halo Learning Direct. Local employers were also involved in the project, with a view to considering the candidates for future employment.
The work with the Probation Service was to tray and open up opportunities for individuals held back from gaining employment due to their situation. Harrogate Homeless Project clients currently in a Hostel environment were also targeted.
The pilot scheme saw 6 of the 10 participants secure employment within 3 months of completing the programme. All of the participants agreed with the evaluation statement. “My confidence and self-esteem have improved significantly since I joined this Programme.” Two of the participants improved their housing circumstances moving from a Hostel environment to a permanent residence. The group moved to being more assured and confident people appreciating more fully their abilities to move forward and improve their personal situations.