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SSA Blog

A Year Like No Other

2020 has been a challenging year, but we have much to look forward to in the new year.

Let’s be honest, 2020 has been a year unlike any other we have experienced. Whether you have been one of the fortunate ones to be relatively untouched by the COVID-19 or someone who has been tested, unlike anything before by the challenges of this year, it is fair to say that we will all be glad to see the back of 2020.

At Street Soccer Academy the services we offer have been effected during the year by conditions of the lockdown, meaning we have not been able to operate our programmes from our regional centres. One thing that has been clear during this time however, is that the needs of our service users remain. For most, the requirements of lockdown increase the sense of isolation and increase the need for the services of our floating support team. To this end we are grateful to the National Lottery who provided funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to assist us in providing an Emergency Response Helpline for our service users. Co-ordinated by our General Manager, Zoe Murphy, the helpline has ensured that our service users have a point of contact to receive assistance with any crisis they may be facing during the pandemic. Additionally, Zoe has also co-ordinated a schedule of support calls with all our service users to ensure that no one is completely isolated during this time and is aware of the support we have on offer.

Throughout 2020 we have been working behind the scenes to be ready for the time we are able to operate fully from our centres. We believe we have much to look forward to in 2021 and below/left are a few of the upcoming highlights.

We are Ten

On 14th February 2021 we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Street Soccer Academy achieving UK charitable status. Throughout the year we will be hosting special events and promotions to celebrate this landmark. Please keep an eye on our website and social media to see how you can get involved in helping us celebrate.

Custody to Community Programme Extended

In 2020 we secured £170,000 funding from the Henry Smith Charity to fund our work in HMP Forest Bank for a three year period. Although the relaunch of the programme was scheduled for earlier this year, this was delayed because of lockdown restrictions. We are hopeful that as restrictions are relaxed the programme will recommence in the first quarter of 2021, seeing us deliver six, six-week courses, engaging with up to 96 service users, per annum, serving custodial sentences and then ‘through the gate’ on their release into community.

In 2021 our custody programme at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham is to be expanded with the course intake increasing from 16 to 32 per course, creating the need for additional staff at our North Wales centre. Coach Educator job vacancy details will be published via our website and social media channels during 2021.

A Website Upgrade

To celebrate our 10th anniversary our website has received a major facelift thanks to our good friends at EQ and Bring Digital. Check out the new look by logging on to www.streetsocceracademy.co.uk

New SSA HQ

To meet the needs of our expanding work we will be moving to a new office base in early 2021. Details of the new SSA HQ will be released in the first quarter of 2021. As well as providing admin and management back up for the work of our custody and community programmes the new SSA HQ will also become a hub for our service users, providing needs-based training and technical support

Soccer 24 Returns

We know that many of our supporters were disappointed that we were unable to host our annual fundraiser, Soccer 24, in 2020, but we really must congratulate those that were able to join us in June for Lockdown 24, our online fundraiser, which raised over £14,000 for our ongoing work. The imaginative challenges that were undertaken really caught the imagination of donors and the total raised a boost to our fundraising income in a difficult year.

The good news for 2021 is that Soccer 24 will return, with talks already under way with sponsors and an announcement on the host venue expected in January. Keep up to date with developments by logging on to our Soccer 24 page www.soccertwentyfour.co.uk.

….and finally

Thanks for Your Support

The work of Street Soccer Academy relies on the support of individuals like yourself. We appreciate the time and effort you make to take an interest in what we do and for the finance you make available to us, whether personal or corporate. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas & a prosperous new year and look forward to meeting up in person with many of you, soon.

Andrew, Simon & Zoe (SSA Senior Management Team),
Tony, Anthony & Andy (SSA Staff)
& all the SSA Volunteers

 

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