The AFC Fylde Community Foundation team found themselves doing time in a local prison as part of a ground-breaking new programme.

They recently completed the innovative six-week project inside Her Majesty’s Prison Garth.

During the course of six weeks, the Foundation team were frequent visitors to the prison, working with a selected group of 15 offenders. 

They delivered sports and football coaching sessions, encouraging the participants to focus and develop leadership skills through the game.

As part of the structured sessions, the Foundation team encouraged those talking part to communicate and engage more positively, which proved successful in leading towards better, much-improved behaviour.

At the end of the programme, the participants then delivered their own football sessions to the group. This enabled them to showcase all that they had achieved from the programme and the significant progress made. 

As a result of the confidence-building workshops, all the participants were able to successfully and confidently deliver their own diverse sessions, which was a fantastic achievement for the Foundation team.

As an additional bonus, each participant from HMP Garth was presented with a Level 2 AQA award in ‘The Principles of Coaching’. 

This is a nationally recognised qualification that each of them earned for successfully completing the six-week programme.

Foundation Extended Services Lead Chris McNally said he was incredibly proud the Foundation was able to achieve such a remarkable first. He said: “To deliver sport in a prison setting isn’t our everyday type of programme. When I first found out we had this opportunity I was instantly excited. It’s turned out to be a fantastic programme with proven results of improved behaviour and positive attitudes from the participants after they have taken part in the sessions.

“I’m honoured to have been able to take part in such a vital, worthwhile programme and I’m hopeful we get the opportunity to run more like this in the future.”

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