Foundation to deliver activities to support annual campaign.
Leeds United is joining football clubs across the country to welcome refugees and people seeking asylum, as part of Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes campaign.
Now in its fifth year, Football Welcomes celebrates the contribution players from a refugee background make to the game and highlights the role football can play in bringing people together and creating more welcoming communities for refugees.
Football Welcomes this year coincides with the return of grassroots sport as lockdown rules ease, which provides a much-needed opportunity for people to reconnect with each other and their communities and to improve mental and physical health.
To mark the month, which is supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Leeds United Foundation will be carrying out a number of activities throughout April to show their support. As part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme there will be assemblies and workshops delivered to partner schools where coaches will be discussing refugee rights and social action whilst also celebrating diversity and exploring cultural backgrounds.
The Premier League Kicks programme will continue its work with the Leeds Refugee Council, hosting football sessions for youngsters from a refugee background and with a powerful story to tell and share. These sessions currently take place at Allerton Grange with sessions set to restart at the Syrian Refugee Centre in Burmantofts. There will also be links forged with the Women and Girls initiatives at the club’s official charity with opportunities made available for young Syrian refugee females looking to develop and improve their skills.
Leeds United is one of many clubs from across the Premier League, English Football League, FA Women’s Super League, Championship and National League, Cymru North and South, and grassroots teams that have signed up to take part in the Football Welcomes campaign.
Naomi Westland, Movement Building Manager at Amnesty International UK, said: “With the long-awaited return of outdoor activities, we are excited to see the commitment from the footballing community to come together and welcome refugees.
“Clubs like Leeds United are at the heart of their communities and football can be a powerful force for good, bringing people together and a providing a sense of purpose and belonging. For those who’ve fled conflict and persecution and had to leave everything behind, this is incredibly important.
“It’s heartening to see football clubs across the country doing great work in their communities to show there is more that unites us than divides us.”