Enjoying the beautiful game

Helen Henshaw
14th June 2022

When not managing our tech team at CSD, Chief Technical Officer Ian Hampson can be found managing training sessions for the Asylum Seeker and Refugee (ASR) community in conjunction with Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary (CoS), a movement created to build a culture of hospitality and inclusiveness for people seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Ian says, ‘ I become involved when I first relocated to the North West and I was interested in undertaking some voluntary work. I contacted Lancaster and Morecambe City Of Sanctuary (CoS) to find out if they had any suitable opportunities and mentioned I was a qualified football coach…it turned out that there used to be a football group but that it had folded some time previously so I was asked if I’d like to start a new group.’

The football group was initially part of a larger initiative organized by CoS called Band Of Brothers aimed at men in the Asylum Seeker and Refugee (ASR) community but has now been extended to welcome everyone regardless of ability, age and gender. Ian runs two hour training sessions every Tuesday evening in Lancaster which are attended by around 35-40 ASR men and runs a Band Of Brothers team in a local 6-a-side league. In the summer months he also helps to run a separate session for children alongside the main group so that dads can bring their children along to have fun and play as well.

The aims of the group are:

· To provide a welcoming and safe environment to play sport
· To exercise, make friends and have fun
· To promote integration between the ASR and local communities
· To improve language skills and communication through sport

…and above all else to enjoy the beautiful game!

Well done Ian, what a fabulous contribution you are making to your local community.