Dale's Hope Football Initiative Wins National Award

Rochdale's Community Trust are celebrating after bagging a national award for their Hope Football initiative.

The Dale won the gong at the Football Business Awards earlier this week - finishing ahead of PGMOL and the FA.

The Borough of Rochdale was identified as a priority resettlement area for refugees, and the club were asked to be a part of the welcome plan.

Hope Football is a project born from a multi-agency approach to welcoming refugees to Rochdale.

The weekly sessions provides free, safe, and inclusive football experiences, specifically targeting refugees and those seeking sanctuary

The FBA judges said the scheme had been a 'game changer in people's lives' before describing it as 'groundbreaking'.

Ryan Bradley, Community Director at Rochdale AFC Community Trust, said: "EDI underpins everything we do at Rochdale AFC Community Trust, but through a dedicated programme designed for refugees and people seeking sanctuary, Rochdale AFC Community Trust have used best practice and positive action to challenge long-held perceptions.

"Using football as the hammer, Rochdale AFC have broken barriers and laid a new path for people to follow when it comes to meaningful, impactful work across equality, diversity and inclusivity.

"We still have a lot of work to do in this field and we won’t shy away from the challenges we face in making the Crown Oil Arena and the Borough of Rochdale a better place to live, work and play."

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