Our 11-a-side men’s football team play in the North East Christian Fellowship League on Saturday mornings. The team represents the Methodist Church (we have a close relationship with the Methodist Church having originally developed out of a church youth project) and has been playing in the league since 2008. We also play every year in the National Christian Cup and National Christian Football Festival Weekend. Training takes place weekly. We aim to encourage reflection on life’s meaning and purpose through sharing experience and understanding, bring different people together to learn and understand each other, giving the opportunity to be part of a team especially to those who might not otherwise do so.
The team provides tournament provides the opportunity to go away to another place for a weekend, meet new people, have new experiences, receive positive messages and participate fully in decision making. As well as providing a positive team framework for young men to take part in regular healthy activities the team is also active in promoting racial and religious harmony. With members from a variety of race and religious backgrounds the team actively raises awareness of discrimination with each other and the teams we play against.
Samba Women’s 11-a-side team based in Kibera, Nairobi, currently compete in the Kenya Football Federation National League Division One. Team members are mentored to be active leaders and role models in their local community whilst also gaining sustainable livelihoods through access to education and work experience. Our regular exchange programme focuses on gaining new experiences and building ongoing relationships between communities that can make a difference to the individuals as well as society.
We have fundraising events and sponsorship activities throughout the year in both Sunderland and Kenya to support both the team, the individual players and their work with others in their community.
This runs during school holidays in May, August and October for children aged 5-12 years old. Boys and girls of all abilities are welcome as we focus on fun, staying healthy, improving our football skills and building friendships. There is plenty to learn alongside football with fun games, DJ workshops, healthy eating, drumming and it’s a great opportunity to make new friends. We have qualified coaches and an awesome group of staff & volunteers ensuring that everyone has a great experience.
Our ethos of welcome and providing an atmosphere where children and young people can be themselves but also learn about and appreciate each other’s differences is appreciated. Feedback from parents suggests that children who might not fit in elsewhere find a place and people they can connect with and want to come back to. We build on these foundations by enabling young volunteers to take on responsibility for delivering the programme and learning new skills.
We have a wide variety of volunteering opportunities for young people and adults especially in the areas of football coaching, youth work, fundraising and social media. We invest throughout the year in our volunteers training and development in the UK and overseas.
Young volunteers, aged 11-15 years, have the opportunity to develop their confidence and skills planning short term community projects in school holidays. All volunteers aged 16+ are invited to join our UK team on regular international youth exchange trips to Kenya.