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St.Matthew’s Project: Sport has brought opportunities and growth to Brixton’s youth for 16 years

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The St. Matthew’s Project started life in the summer of 2004 and has developed, literally, from a kick-about in Brockwell Park for young people from one estate in Brixton, St. Matthew’s. The origins of the project are linked to an even smaller ‘community’ – Springett House – a large L-shaped block on the southern edge of the estate, backing onto Brixton Water Lane. 

The young people from Springett House were initially extremely reluctant to interact with their peers from the rest of the estate but barriers were broken down by organising a series of football sessions and matches and the creation of ‘Springett F.C’, the forerunner of today’s St. Matthew’s F.C.

The young people from Springett soon came to see themselves as part of the wider estate community and that they had many shared interests and experiences with other young people from around the estate. 

Using the same approach, the young people from St. Matthew’s came to interact with their peers from the nearby Tulse Hill Estate and surrounding streets, overcoming long-standing hostilities and coming together under the SMP banner.

The Project now regularly engages with over 200 young people every week from across the Lambeth area, has developed over 200 F.A qualified coaches from levels 1 to 3, developed girls’ football in Lambeth and consistently provided free, fun football activities to young people living within the most deprived 10% Deprivation Deciles nationally for crime and living environment. 

In addition to football specific activities we’ve arranged trips, encouraged youth volunteering, delivered accredited training courses and healthy lifestyle and mental wellbeing workshops, and provided one-to-one support to our young people wherever necessary.

Working closely with Lambeth Council and other local agencies, they have now established a recognised hub in Brockwell Park, continuing to attract young people from across the SW2 / SW9 area and providing them with new opportunities for personal development, in order to help them fulfill their potential.

A place to build relationships, learn and allow children in the community to dream of a promising future

When we talk about sport, we often limit ourselves to the simple fact of playing it, but at St. Matthew’s Project children go far beyond kicking a ball.

The Project provides these young people with a sense of community and responsibility that will definitely make a difference in their lives and also in the lives of their families.

With events that encompass the entire community as well as the family, it is possible to participate in days such as the Family Football Reading Club, where parents have the chance to spend valuable time with their children in reading activities, helping them to build a solid knowledge base for your academic future.

Or even the Summer Holiday Scheme with Football coaching & small-sided games and end-of-scheme tournaments, plus free hot lunch and fresh fruit provided to all participants at all sessions.

St. Matthew’s Project in the UEFA EURO 2020 Celebration film

This year, to celebrate the UEFA EURO 2020 championships finally getting underway, the Museum of London presents Eleven, a film that highlights eleven personal stories of Londoners to create a contemporary London line-up and highlight the empowering nature of the ‘beautiful game’.

The film captures a range of stories from Globe Rangers in Walthamstow to St. Matthews Project in Brixton, from the first Black Londoner to ever play football for England, Benjamin Odeje, to founder of Goal Diggers, Fleur Cousens, who created a team accessible to all women and non-binary people.

As the Museum of Londoners, this film focuses on the local heroes, from the referees and groundkeepers who keep the teams going to those finding rehabilitation and community through football.

Watch the Movie!

Support the St. Matthew’s Project you too 

For Mapall it is a great honor to be able to help maintain such a brilliant project, thus strengthening a support network for sport, education and also for a life with a promising future for these children and young people.

And if you want to know more about the project and also become a sponsor of this action, go to the Project website and contact those responsible.It’s also possible to make online donations through the website.

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