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Football festival kicks off Refugee Week in Plymouth

14 June 2012

For immediate release  Thursday 14 June 2012
For further information  Samantha Whitwham swhitwham@redcross.org.uk
Contact number 0117 301 2624
 
Hope FC and the Plymouth Migrant Communities Forum (PMCF), supported by the British Red Cross, will be kicking off this year’s Refugee Week with a family fun day and football festival at Brickfields Sports Centre on Saturday 16 June.

The Plymouth Hope Football Festival is becoming a regular event in celebration of National Refugee Week (18 -24 June) which highlights the contribution refugees make to life in the UK.

The event is being jointly organised by David Feindouno, founder of Plymouth Hope FC – a football club that actively encourages asylum seekers and refugees to get involved in the game – and other members of the PMCF (Give Back Project; Zimbabwean Women Together) – a forum which encourages migrant community organisations to work together in partnership.

David explained: “We have a real mixture of teams involved in the tournament this year. We want the festival to be a fun way for people to celebrate the diversity of our community but also to come together to build a stronger, more integrated society. The event is open to everyone, so please come along and join the celebrations.”

The six-a-side football festival starts at 10am with youth and adult teams battling it out to become tournament champions – regardless of background or ethnicity.

There will be a wide range of activities for all the family, including a mini-Olympics, bouncy castle, face-painting, crafts, dance, music and a variety of stalls and entertainment.

Free food and drink will be provided to everyone who attends, and a free shuttle bus will run from the city centre to Brickfields Sports Centre between 9am and 12 noon.

Rupert Blomfield, refugee support service manager at the Red Cross, said: “The Red Cross is proud to support the Plymouth Hope Football Festival again this year. Thanks to the hard work of Hope FC and PMCF, it is becoming a regular family event during Refugee Week and we aim to make it bigger and better each year.

“This year the organisers have done a superb job in planning a really fun-filled day so we encourage as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the activities, whether you’re a football fan or not. There really is something for everyone.”

The British Red Cross plays a key role in supporting vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers and helping them settle in to UK life. This can include projects to help people find out about life in the place they are living, as well as volunteering and learning opportunities which may lead to employment.

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events from 18 – 24 June, which celebrates the contribution refugees make to life in the UK and encourages better understanding between and within communities.

The British Red Cross is part of the coalition supporting Refugee Week 2012 – which also includes Amnesty International UK, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Children's Society, Refugee Action, Refugee Council, City of Sanctuary, Scottish Refugee Council, STAR (Student Action for Refugees), Freedom from Torture, Welsh Refugee Council and British Future.

For more information about the Plymouth Hope Football Festival please visit: plymouthhopefc.org.uk.

For more information on the British Red Cross please visit redcross.org.uk

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Football Festival is being held at Brickfields Sport Centre, Madden Road, Plymouth, PL1 4NE from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 16 June.

Photographs from the 2011 event are available.

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

Follow us on Twitter: @BRC_West

Follow all the latest Refugee Week news and events on Twitter by searching #RefugeeWeek.

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