Registered Charity no. 1127806
Back in 2006 QPR in the Community Trust announced that it was launching its ‘Moving the Goalposts’ project, a social inclusion project that is aimed at developing opportunities for the Gypsy Roma & Traveller (GRT) communities in West London to help access high quality football and sport.
In partnership with the Football Foundation and the London Borough of Ealing’s Gypsy Roma and Travellers Achievement Service, the project aims to break down barriers and iron out inequalities in society to promote true community inclusion. Since its inception the project has gone from strength to strength and the results are remarkable.
Jake George from the Ealing GRT Achievement Service states, “it was not clear what the potential of football would be for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people when we started out. We originally used training sessions as a tool to keep the working relationship going with young people who might otherwise disappear from view. However, over the life of the project, truly unique and meaningful developments between service providers and the GRT communities have been enabled. We now see Moving the Goalposts as one of the most invaluable tools for long term, sustainable benefits”.
Through the project a member of the Travelling community was able to be put through his FA Level 1 & 2 qualification. He is now a prominent member of the QPR Community Trust staffing team and plays an integral role in the development of the project and a prominent example of Traveller inclusion. Due to this success, the Community Trust is developing the roles and potential of individual young GRT community members as skilled coaching staff within ‘Moving the Goalposts’ and the Trust as a whole.
The project successfully runs a small sided competitive team and regular coaching sessions which now has the ambition of growing into a full Middlesex FA team and club. The first steps to doing this were made when the team played Pitstop FC, a team of homeless young men in a friendly fixture (See article in Issue 13 of the match day programme). The whole day was a resounding success and both groups of players got to see a professional game of football, an opportunity they wouldn’t normally get.
The project is now also an award winner having been recognised by Kick it Out and at City Hall for its excellence in the field of Social inclusion. Gareth Dixon, Inclusion & Diversity Officer for QPR in the Community Trust is pleased with the projects progress “Hopefully we can now increase the awareness of the problems that young GRT face with the work we are doing and continue to knock down barriers”.