'The St Matthew's Project has been doing amazing work bringing our young people together through football and other activities for the best part of twenty years. During this whole time, they've stayed absolutely rooted in our community and true to their principles. It's hard to overstate the amount of hard work and care that goes into running these sessions. I'm so grateful to Lee and the team for their relentless focus on seeing the potential in all our young people and helping them to fulfil it.’
Bell Ribeiro, MP for Streatham
‘Thank you again for yesterday’s tournament! The girls are buzzing. Was a great day and an impressive turnout.’
‘Thank you so much SMP for everything you have done for all the boys that have passed through your hands. Thank you for creating a safe environment for the youth with so much opportunity also in growth and progression. It’s a club to be extremely proud of... ‘nuff respect to Coach for all the hard work you put in, not just for your boys but for the club, all the doors of opportunity you’ve opened. Perfect example for the boys!’
‘The work you have been doing is incredible. I have never seen such professionals so dedicated to supporting young people, especially improving their health and well-being. My son has seen his communication skills improve and he is able now to speak to adults with confidence. And thanks to the Youth Board, he is responsible, proactive and delegates at home as if he is in charge. Attending different activities with my younger children has also allowed me to meet some lovely parents, helping each other, giving advice on jobs, finding jobs and how to manage day-to-day life. Well done and thank you!’
Mum, SMFC U15s player and two Saturday Club members.
‘I think SMP is a great community. It’s diverse, welcoming, and includes everyone. I joined SMP because I needed a football team to start playing seriously again after an injury and I’m so glad I chose St. Matthew’s. I’ve been a part of the team for a year and a bit now. I am also part of the youth board and it’s a great experience (I volunteer to help with the younger kids when we have holiday training) and it has helped my confidence in general massively. I can’t wait to see St. Matthew’s grow even more in the next couple of years.’
Olivia, aged 15
It was kind of heartbreaking, if I’m honest…but because I was changing role and developing, SMP thought it was a pathway for me and they sent me away with their blessing. St. Matthew’s is grassroots at its best. You’ve got people that care.
1st Team Manager, Tooting & Mitcham United F.C
Evidence of the outcomes was clear and it was good to hear the voice of the young people within the evidence, via their feedback. The case studies illustrated the value of the project outside of the physical benefit.
BBC Children in Need, Regional Grants Officer, London & South East
I would like to say what a great tournament you ran for the girls in the borough last term. It was very well organised and the girls really dedicated themselves to this each week. To see this level of skill played in girls’ football was very encouraging and great to watch. We are looking forward to the year 7/8 tournament next. Thanks again.
Ms. L. Kane
Director of Physical Education, all through school Specialist Leader in Education
‘SMP are a club that really go above and beyond for their young people and community. They always go the extra mile providing endless support and opportunities for the children and their families too.’
Coming to St. Matthew’s has really helped me as a person because playing here is like a dream. In Madrid, I used to play football, but on the streets, so never really in a team. Here, I am playing with other girls, as a team. It’s really nice.
Staff of the Sports and Recreation unit recognise the work that St. Matthew’s Project delivers in the Coldharbour and Tulse Hill Ward of Lambeth. The commitment of the staff and the partnership working the project’s officers have engaged in ensures that activities are extremely well attended and that the young people accessing the sessions have the opportunity to further develop as there are a number of exit routes that they can be referred to.
Lambeth Council Sports & Recreation Service
SMP brings that sense of belonging, cohesion, that team ethos. It knackers the kids; tires them out so they haven’t got that energy to go home bouncing off the walls and creating problems in their own neighbourhoods…They love football, that sense of community. And St. Matthew’s has got that special part of the community…the coaches, the project manager’s role – it’s central to the success of the project.
PC Adam Barr
Safer Schools Police Officer
Without them, I wouldn’t have been as confident as I am now. I always thank them for everything I’ve done and for what they’ve done for me…they’re always talking to you. Every single one of them, I’d trust them no matter what.
I would like to thank St. Matthew’s for the support you have given my daughter. She originally joined girls-only football on Saturday morning to improve her team work / playing skills and she ended up getting more than just that. She got more confidence in dealing with others and has learnt to know and appreciate herself as well as others. Finally, and most importantly, she now belongs to a group she is proud of…the girls offer her support and comfort and she loves it, particularly knowing that she does not have aunties or sisters in the UK.
It has been a real pleasure to work with you in this competition. Our girls are so happy and grateful with you and all the staff there. I am looking forward for the next one after Christmas.
PE Dept., The Laurels School, Clapham Park
We would like to thank you for your efforts in organising the league, it has been fantastic.
KS3 PE, Lambeth Academy, Clapham
Well done to everyone involved in the Girls’ League at Ferndale – it was so well organised and great fun!
Evelyn Grace Academy
I was so impressed with your organisation, dedication and commitment; it is what so many kids in the area need to experience and not least of which is to see male role models who are disciplined and fair and reliable.
Shared a carriage on the northern line yesterday with some happy, enthused and polite young people from this project which made me want to make a donation. Good luck for next season!
Member of the public
It keeps him occupied, it keeps him alert; it teaches him a lot of things and it keeps him from that thing where they’re hanging around the block; he sees a lot of the kids. I’m proud of him…I thought my kid would have gone downhill and would have been wandering the streets. I never would have thought a kid of mine could do this. But I’m proud of him.
Got to see the brilliant work of @smpbrixton first hand today. I was staggered and impressed by its scale and reach, not to mention the commitment of both the staff and kids engaged in their Easter football sessions. Exciting to hear plans for developing their base too.
Such a great summer holiday set up at a time when it is needed more than ever. An amazing community resource that Brixton / Tulse Hill are so lucky to have.
I Just want to say thank you for the great hard work you and your coaches have put in with the children within the community. Thank you for all the different opportunities given to the children. A little background from where my son is coming from. He came from not knowing anything about football, going training with other clubs. We then got introduced to St. Matthew’s Project and he joined the U11s team. Then my son said: ‘Mum, I love it here!’ Four years later he is still training and playing for SMP, and I can say that I’ve seen a massive growth and improvement in him, not just in football but in his day-to-day life and behaviour. A MASSIVE THANK YOU!
Thanks to all at SMP for making this happen and all your hard work. You are a ray of sunshine in what seems to be quite a bleak time. I ❤️ SMP.
Summer Holiday Scheme, 2020