Coventry City Football Club, Sky Blues in the Community and the Positive Youth Foundation will be working together to help Syrian nationals in Coventry.
The three organisations will be working together on a new initiative to support Syrian refugees, following in the footsteps of the Sky Blues’ donation of 30 large boxes of kit to a Syrian refugee camp in Iraq.
Coventry is the city to have accommodated the highest number of Syrian refugees in the UK, according to Home Office figures, and it is hoped that the initiative of the Football Club, it’s community arm and the Positive Youth Foundation will support the city in its efforts to provide for refugees and integrate them into the community.
The Positive Youth Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Coventry, which specialises in helping young people across Coventry. PYF have worked with refugees for the last ten years, with the new initiative adding to their range of services.
They already work with Sky Blues in the Community on a range of schemes, and the new tie-up will see the organisations help to provide sporting activities and employment skills for Syrian refugees in Coventry, among other initiatives.
Coventry City’s support of Syrian refugees has been spearheaded by Chairman Tim Fisher who has visited Iraq’s Darashakran refugee camp, which was built for 13,000 displaced victims of the on-going Syrian civil war, and arranged for the Sky Blues kit donation.
Coventry City will be donating money from the ticket sales for the Play-Off Final to fund the initiative.
Tim Fisher, Chairman of Coventry City Football Club, said:
“When I visited the camp, my heart went out to all of those Syrian people who have been forced to flee their country because of the war that’s raging there. Coventry has a reputation as a city of peace and reconciliation, and we as a community club are happy to help in the efforts of the City in welcoming these people to the community.
“Working with our partners in the City, we look forward to having a real positive impact on their lives through the power of sport.”
Dave Busst, Director of Sky Blues in the Community, said:
“The funds donated by the Club will enable us to work with our partners Positive Youth Foundation and deliver a programme of activities to benefit the Syrian community on behalf of CCFC and help to welcome and integrate into our diverse and multi-cultural City.
“Working with PYF we will look to provide opportunities to engage Syrian young people and families, to promote healthy wellbeing and physical activity.”
Rashid Bhayat, Chief Executive Officer of Positive Youth Foundation, said:
“Coventry is a city which has a proud tradition of welcoming people, in particular those who seek protection and sanctuary. Over the past few years, our work to welcome and support those affected by conflict has been an integral part of our cities offer. Amongst these, has been families from a number of countries, which include Syria. The Positive Youth Foundation deliver a programme of education and sport, which helps to integrate young people in to the city in a meaningful and non-stigmatised way. Young people have the opportunity to immediately mix with local people – which is essential in breaking down barriers and creating a united city.
“The work of Coventry City Football Club to support young people in refugee camps in Iraq is an ideal opportunity for the city to play its part in further supporting those who find themselves in a vulnerable position. Whilst the conflict in that region needs much attention, the power of sport can be an incredible force to bring about positive social change, evidenced by this initiative and the ongoing work across Coventry by the Sky Blues in the Community who deliver an extensive timetable of local provision for young people and families.”