Burnley FC in the Community delivers coaching and employability-based qualifications to adult prisoners at HMP Wymott in Lancashire, in order to better prepare them for release.
HMP Wymott in Leyland has been twinned with Burnley FC in the Community as part of the Twinning Project – a programme backed by the Government and the UK’s leading football bodies, including the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League, PFA, PGMOL and LMA.
A number of UK clubs have agreed to be part of the programme, which will use football as a catalyst for change to provide real opportunities, better prepare prisoners for release, help them find employment and reduce reoffending; a massive cost to the country and local communities.
Currently in the UK, the reoffending rate for adults is 63.8% and juveniles reoffend at a rate of 41.6% in the 12 months after release. Evidence has shown that reoffending rates are greatly reduced when prisoners secure employment following release from prison, and so the provision of qualifications and professional skills will have a significant impact.
David Dein MBE, former Vice-Chairman of Arsenal Football Club and the Football Association and founder of the Twinning Project, commented: “Since its launch, the Twinning Project has seen huge interest and enthusiasm from across the UK football family and Prison Service. We have also had interest from international clubs and prisons, as well as other sporting organisations who wish to replicate what we are doing.
“It is testament to the vision and purpose of the Twinning Project that such a large group of football clubs have agreed to participate in trying to tackle a difficult problem in our society. We are in active talks with many other clubs and look forward to welcoming them to the Twinning Project as we roll out as widely as possible across football and the Prison Service.”
“Among the first clubs, a number of their Community Departments are already doing great work with their local prisons while others will be starting for the first time. Together as part of the Twinning Project, we will build on this momentum, bring structure and help to use football as a force for good that will deliver real change for people and communities across the UK.”
For more information about the Twinning Project, visit: www.twinningproject.co.uk or contact Michael Colquhoun, Head of Inclusion at Burnley FC in the Community on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01282 704716.