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Fulham giving refugees the chance to settle

27 Feb 2019

How the Fulham Foundation is using football to help people like Noorzadah make friends and feel included

Refugees and asylum seekers in southwest London are being helped to integrate through an inclusion programme run by Fulham Foundation

The scheme began in 2017 and gives refugees the chance to come together, play football and make friends.

Noorzadah moved to the United Kingdom from Afghanistan in 2014 and is one of the participants who has benefited from the scheme, which attracts between 60 and 100 people per week.

"When I first moved to the UK it was very hard. I couldn't speak the language and I didn't have anyone," he told BBC Match of the Day.

"But on a Monday evening we all come together and we chill out. There's a lot of fun in football."

Coaching badges

And with Fulham's help and encouragement, Noorzadah recently earned the first of his coaching badges.

"Having this available to them is long-lasting and life-changing," said Fulham inclusion officer Charles Ademeno.

"They have an outlet. They have a safe space to come and enjoy football and engage with different people that they wouldn't normally engage with."

And participants were able to show how the programme has helped them to Fulham first-team players when Denis OdoiCalum Chambers and Cyrus Christie visited recently to take part in a coaching session.

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