Fulham Football Club Foundation is a leading community charity using the power of sport to provide meaningful education and employability to empower the most vulnerable members of their community. It was a pleasure to work Fulham and Feltham Prison to deliver this short documentary on a miniscule budget, stretching resources to the limit for a brilliant cause. This, rather appropriately, premiered during halftime at the stadium in June 2016.
Within Fulham’s programme, participants benefit from work-related training and the development of important life skills. Football fans or not, participants leave with transferrable skills, improved confidence, accredited qualifications, and a clear plan for progression in achieving their goals. In this recent programme, 75% of participants achieved employment, training, or education outcomes.
The social impact of this film has been significant and will have long-term effects. Among young offenders in particular, those who participate in the programme have a high chance of securing employment after their release. Their likely rate of reoffending is only 9.5%, a statistic described by Feltham officers as ‘ridiculously low’. Promoting this programme successfully has therefore had a positive impact on the lives of these young boys in particular, as well as on society as a whole.
Given the approach we took to this film, and the candid interviews we were able to obtain, more participants have chosen to get involved. The Club has also had greater success attaching employers and funders who are motivated to give something back.