Rooks support Refugee Week

Rooks support Refugee Week

14th-20th June is Refugee Week and Lewes FC is showing its support in a number of ways...

Lewes FC
3 minute read
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Back in April Lewes FC Women were delighted to support Amnesty International’s ‘Football Welcomes Refugees’ month, sporting the candle-backed black t-shirts for their warm-ups v both Leicester and Sheffield at the Pan.

Thinking about this initiative made us reflect on the massive contribution refugees make to football, and to our communities….and in true Rookish spirit, we didn’t want to simply wear the T-shirt. We wanted to roll up our sleeves and get involved. So, we contacted local refugee organisation ‘The Launchpad Collective’ – who are on a mission to provide an essential needs-driven, not-for-profit employment support programme for refugees. As a 100% fan-owned club, proud to consider ourselves a community asset - and with the universal language of football at our disposal - we wondered if some of our volunteer roles might be useful for refugees wanting to integrate into the community and have something for their CVs.

It wasn’t long before Abdul, originally from Eritrea but now living on our doorstep in Brighton, came to the Dripping Pan to visit, with his Support Worker Jane. We showed Abdul and Jane around, recounting legends of the Pan and proudly showing off the pitch, the terraces and the beach huts, whilst explaining that as things were Behind Closed Doors at the moment, stewarding was a little different. Abdul would be doing a lot of temperature-taking, reminding media-people to wear masks, and disinfecting goal posts and balls! We introduced them to everyone from coaches, to Maggie, Lynne, Biram and Ini in the office, to James Barker our Facilities Manager, Roger the Pitch Artist, and Abdul and Jane enjoyed a physically-distanced cuppa with a director in the Rook Inn.

Abdul then agreed to steward for the last two home games of the season, even coming to volunteer whilst fasting during Ramadan to welcome people in and make tea for commentators and camera operators.

We’re pleased to say that Abdul said he’d be pleased for us to tell our owners about him, adding ‘Thank you to everyone at the football club – everyone was so friendly and I was made to feel really welcome’. And now he’s busy encouraging friends to volunteer for us too – hoping to witness some crowds next season.

Building on our relationship with the wonderful people at The Launchpad Collective, Lewes FC looks forward to supporting their Beach Clean on Sunday 20th June, when we’ll be collecting rubbish for TLC to construct a ‘Welcome’ sign from. Directors and players alike are joining the beach clean to show our support – so do get involved here.

And we’re happy to be hosting a Diversity Supper at the club house for TLC in July, when they’ll be launching their ‘Employers of Sanctuary’ kitemark. Guess who’s signing up to it first? That’s right, your community-owned club!

Watch this space for news of more club initiatives to ensure that football really does welcome refugees.

Back in April Lewes FC Women were delighted to support Amnesty International’s ‘Football Welcomes Refugees’ month, sporting the candle-backed black t-shirts for their warm-ups v both Leicester and Sheffield at the Pan.

Thinking about this initiative made us reflect on the massive contribution refugees make to football, and to our communities….and in true Rookish spirit, we didn’t want to simply wear the T-shirt. We wanted to roll up our sleeves and get involved. So, we contacted local refugee organisation ‘The Launchpad Collective’ – who are on a mission to provide an essential needs-driven, not-for-profit employment support programme for refugees. As a 100% fan-owned club, proud to consider ourselves a community asset - and with the universal language of football at our disposal - we wondered if some of our volunteer roles might be useful for refugees wanting to integrate into the community and have something for their CVs.

It wasn’t long before Abdul, originally from Eritrea but now living on our doorstep in Brighton, came to the Dripping Pan to visit, with his Support Worker Jane. We showed Abdul and Jane around, recounting legends of the Pan and proudly showing off the pitch, the terraces and the beach huts, whilst explaining that as things were Behind Closed Doors at the moment, stewarding was a little different. Abdul would be doing a lot of temperature-taking, reminding media-people to wear masks, and disinfecting goal posts and balls! We introduced them to everyone from coaches, to Maggie, Lynne, Biram and Ini in the office, to James Barker our Facilities Manager, Roger the Pitch Artist, and Abdul and Jane enjoyed a physically-distanced cuppa with a director in the Rook Inn.

Abdul then agreed to steward for the last two home games of the season, even coming to volunteer whilst fasting during Ramadan to welcome people in and make tea for commentators and camera operators.

We’re pleased to say that Abdul said he’d be pleased for us to tell our owners about him, adding ‘Thank you to everyone at the football club – everyone was so friendly and I was made to feel really welcome’. And now he’s busy encouraging friends to volunteer for us too – hoping to witness some crowds next season.

Building on our relationship with the wonderful people at The Launchpad Collective, Lewes FC looks forward to supporting their Beach Clean on Sunday 20th June, when we’ll be collecting rubbish for TLC to construct a ‘Welcome’ sign from. Directors and players alike are joining the beach clean to show our support – so do get involved here.

And we’re happy to be hosting a Diversity Supper at the club house for TLC in July, when they’ll be launching their ‘Employers of Sanctuary’ kitemark. Guess who’s signing up to it first? That’s right, your community-owned club!

Watch this space for news of more club initiatives to ensure that football really does welcome refugees.