Safe and encouraging

The St. Matthew’s Project provides a safe and encouraging environment where 3-25-year-olds can come together and enjoy structured football sessions and other activities. We help children and young people living mainly in the Tulse Hill and Coldharbour wards of Lambeth fulfil their potential and have a real impact on their community.

Football

Football is a powerful hook for young people in our area and we have found it is the best means to deliver support and guidance. By building up credible relationships through sport with our members, we’ve been able to address issues beyond those directly related to football training, such as increased community integration and enhanced relationships not only between peers but between young people and their wider families.

Community

SMP sees the community in which we work as our greatest asset and the relationships we have built up with young people, their families and other service providers in the area are fundamental to the sustainability of the project.

Activities

Our current activities (pre-lockdown) include weekly turn-up-and-play sessions for both sexes; free holiday football and food programmes; a Family Football and Literacy Programme; estate-based sports sessions; an anti-knife crime project; and a Fit for Life programme combining free football with mental health and wellbeing workshops.

For those aged 16 +, we offer a programme of FA Level-1 and -2 coaching courses throughout the year. SMP has always sought to respond to the evolving needs of its members and the Covid 19 pandemic has presented us with a number of challenges in that regard.

Since the first lockdown we have adapted our website to host more interactive online sessions, including wellbeing drop-in discussions, football skills training sessions, quizzes, a book club and live football ‘watch-together’ groups. We have also been able to remain a constant and reliable source of personal support, maintaining contact with our young people through Zoom, Instagram, WhatsApp groups, phone calls and one-to-one visits at a safe distance.

Supporting Families

In a bid to combat digital exclusion and support families with access to education, training and employment, we have provided 19 laptops and 6 dongles to young people as partners in ‘Connecting Tulse Hill’ initiative. We were also able to offer additional support to families in the form of over 100 free meals each week provided to those living on the Tulse Hill and St Matthew’s Estates.

All are coaches are FA-qualified with enhanced DBS checks.