INCLUSION | Rotherham United Community Trust Celebrates Refugees with Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes Campaign

Published: 28/03/2024

Clubs across the UK join Amnesty’s Football Welcomes campaign to show solidarity with those who have fled conflict and persecution. This year marks seven years of Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes campaign and Rotherham United alongside hundreds of clubs have signed up to continue efforts to welcome refugees and people seeking asylum. Football Welcomes plays an important… Continue reading INCLUSION | Rotherham United Community Trust Celebrates Refugees with Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes Campaign

Clubs across the UK join Amnesty’s Football Welcomes campaign to show solidarity with those who have fled conflict and persecution.

  • Free, weekly open access football sessions.
  • Collaboration with local refugee and asylum seeker groups.
  • Annual ‘Football Welcomes’ fixture.
  • Midnight Ramadan League
  • RUFC matchday and stadium experiences.
  • Partnership with The Refugee Council

This year marks seven years of Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes campaign and Rotherham United alongside hundreds of clubs have signed up to continue efforts to welcome refugees and people seeking asylum.

Football Welcomes plays an important role in helping to settle people who have fled conflict and persecution into a new culture, to make friends, learn the language and get to know the local area.

Each year, Football Welcomes celebrates the role football can play in bringing people together. The initiative is in stark contrast to the Government’s refusal in recent years to process the asylum claims of tens of thousands of people, which is causing increased misery for thousands of people.

To mark the month, Rotherham United Community Trust is taking football and social cohesion to the heart of Rotherham’s diverse communities with the aim of raising awareness of the positive impact refugees have on football and communities. Aswell as our weekly sessions, we are delivering additional activities such as our matchday experiences and stadium tours to showcase and celebrate the diverse communities of Rotherham.

Anthony Bayou – Youth and Inclusion Manager said;

“We’re proud as a football club to be able to support local refugees and asylum seekers housed in Rotherham. Since our United 4 Communities (U4C) programme was implemented in 2017, it’s been fantastic to see so many of the participants progress their involvement with the Trust with volunteering opportunities and joining grassroot clubs. It’s so rewarding to know we’re making a real difference to the lives of the people from around the world. Rotherham is a widely diverse community and we want to celebrate this.”

Rotherham United is one of the 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 Football Welcomes.

To show their support for people seeking asylum, participating clubs have hosted a range of football-based events including training sessions, matches or stadium tours for refugees. Some clubs are incorporating learning about refugee rights in their work with schools, while others are helping to raise awareness online.

Sandy Abi-Elias, Amnesty International UK’s Women’s Football Officer, said:

“It’s important to remember people seeking asylum in the UK are real people many of whom have already faced unimaginable harms and we must do all we can to support them, not demonise them. This is what Football Welcomes is all about.

“No matter what, Amnesty will continue to welcome refugees alongside football clubs across the country to show there is more that unites us than divides us.

“Football Welcomes is made possible thanks to an award from Postcode Justice Trust.”