West Ham partnership gives young a taste of football

Residents from East Thames Barking Foyer who attended the West Ham match against Stoke City recently

Residents from East Thames Barking Foyer who attended the West Ham match against Stoke City recently. - Credit: Archant

East Thames has teamed up with West Ham United to further develop its community engagement work in east London.

Both organisations are committed to supporting local people to achieve their full potential and strengthen their communities, whether through employment and training opportunities, healthy living programmes or social inclusion activities. East Thames Group is one of the largest housing associations operating in east London and Essex.

East Thames and the Hammers both have their roots in east London, with West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground home located just a stone’s throw from East Thames’ Stratford head office.

To celebrate the new partnership, West Ham United gave East Thames 80 match tickets for their Barclays Premier League fixture against Stoke City on August 31.

Tickets were offered to resident volunteers, residents playing for East Thames’ mental health football team and to those living at East Thames’ Barking Foyer for young people at risk of homelessness.

Deejay Fofana, a Barking Foyer resident, was given tickets as a thank you for her hard work on a business skills project run at the foyer. Deejay said: “Going to the game was a good experience, I liked the atmosphere. It was my first game but luckily I was sitting next to someone who could explain what was going on!”

Corrine Hutcheson, East Thames’ enterprise manager. said: “We are delighted to be working so closely with West Ham United Community Sports Trust. This is a really exciting time for east London, so it’s great to be working alongside an organisation which shares our commitment to the area and to the well-being of local residents.”

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Joseph Lyons, the new Head of Community for West Ham United Community Sports Trust, said: “Working in partnership is critical to increase the impact of delivery, and East Thames and the Trust have key synergies that will be developed over the next few years. “Enabling some of their residents to access our matchday experience is a great way to capture the uniqueness of the partnership and will be a powerful catalyst for future engagement and individual successes with them.”

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