Southern Housing Group Funds Sport Programmes to Combat Anti-Social Behaviour

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Southern Housing Group-funded sport courses delivered by Albion in the Community (the charitable arm of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club) have reduced anti-social behaviour, improved community spirit and provided valuable training and development opportunities for the Group’s residents.

Nathan Tilley

Forging a strong community spirit is vital to creating areas in which residents want to live, and raising the quality of life through sport not only benefits participants but onlookers as well.

Southern Housing Group-funded sport courses delivered by Albion in the Community (the charitable arm of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club) have reduced anti-social behaviour, improved community spirit and provided valuable training and development opportunities for the Group’s residents.

The project offers football and other activities both sporting and non-sporting, for young people living in areas of deprivation, to emphasise the values of teamwork, inclusion, achievement, respect and self-belief.

Free accredited football courses, such as the FA Level 1 Coaching Course delivered by BHAFC in partnership with the Sussex County Football Association and other partners, and the provision of facilities for street football leagues, assist in tackling anti-social behaviour in areas with high numbers of ASB incidents. Football inclusion holidays are also available for participants during school holidays.

Sonia Watson, Youth Development Project Manager Southern Housing Group Limited said: “Forging a strong community spirit is vital to creating areas in which residents want to live, and raising the quality of life through sport not only benefits participants but onlookers as well.”

The project has seen the launch of evening and weekend coaching sessions, and the creation of easy access in to the FA accredited coaching structure. Other qualifications on offer include ABA Boxing awards, cricket young leaders awards and First Aid courses.

Among those Southern Housing Group residents who have taken part in the scheme is Nathan Tilley, who first attended the Worthing Football Inclusion project. He soon discovered a talent for coaching, and was sponsored by Southern Housing Group to complete his FA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Football, enabling him to coach grass roots and youth football teams.

Since completing the certificate, Nathan has gone on to complete a Personal Best award and Community Sports Leader award through the football club, and begins his FA Level 2 course later this year. Nathan also plays an active part on the Albion’s coaching team in Durrington.

Nathan said: “I think it’s brilliant that housing associations like Southern Housing Group support the project because it is helping kids and teenagers learn new moves on the pitch, and gives them something to do after school has finished.”

Participants also have the opportunity to gain membership to the Cup Final (Communities Uniting People and Football Improving Neighbourhoods and Lives) project, which rewards good attendance, positive attitude, good behaviour with prizes such as football kit, signed memorabilia and tickets to Brighton and Hove Albion fixtures through a monthly draw.

A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove Albion FC said: “Sport can contribute to neighbourhood renewal and make a real difference to health, crime, employment and education in deprived communities.

“For young people and ex-offenders, providing easy access to sports activities helps prevent boredom and provides an alternative activity and social group for those who might otherwise spend time with others at risk of offending.”

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Daniel Murphy, Southern Housing Group Press and PR Officer, on 0207 553 6479 / 07795 127 736 or e-mail Daniel(dot)Murphy(at)shgroup(dot)org(dot)uk.

Notes to Editors

  •     Southern Housing Group is the 2010 Affordable Home Ownership Provider of the Year, an award which recognises the Home Ownership Provider who has exceeded in the task of moving the home ownership industry forward, and who has introduced outstanding schemes into the market, while considering the needs of the community and the environment.
  •     Over the last 100 years, Southern Housing Group has become one of the largest housing associations in the south of England, housing 66,000 residents, managing more than 25,500 homes, employing almost 900 people and working with more than 70 local authorities across the South East, including the Isle of Wight.
  •     Our mission of ‘Unlocking the potential of people and places” unites the organisation behind a common set of qualities and objectives. The values underpinning our mission statement are to be Progressive, Inclusive, Responsible and Reliable.
  •     Our activities focus on four key areas: the development of quality affordable housing, housing and neighbourhood management, a range of housing options for rent and home ownership and social and economic regeneration.
  •     The Group’s social and economic regeneration work is undertaken to improve the lives of residents in the communities and neighbourhoods where the Group builds and manages homes. It provides tangible evidence of the Group’s commitment to building sustainable communities.

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Daniel Murphy
Southern Housing Group
020 7553 6479
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