Launched in September 2022, the project known as ‘Unite Through Football’, was designed by Surrey FA in collaboration with Surrey Police and accommodation supplier, SBHL, to support a network of refugees currently living in Surrey.
The project has allowed regular and lasting impact by offering opportunities to play, participate and develop through football, and reflected months of planning to deliver the largest refugee football offering ever coordinated by a County FA.
Unite Through Football has challenged and changed the perceptions of all involved, becoming a platform to address stereotypes and pre-conceived ideas of the local population and with refugees themselves.
It has remained flexible to suit the needs of the participants, evolving through the season to include a new provision for female refugees, and expanding the recreational offer to both Youth and Adult players.
Accommodations for religion and faith have also been incorporated, in the scheduling of the season and by making prayer mats and a dedicated multi-faith room available, increasing accessibility to the league fixtures.
Surpassing expectations and delivering significantly against the objectives, Unite Through Football: Refugees has quickly become a leading provision for refugees in Surrey and beyond, that can be incorporated at all levels and locations of refugee care.