Newport County AFC striker, Jamille Matt, today delivered season tickets to local refugee centre, The Sanctuary Refugee Welcome Group, as part of the Club’s continued efforts to be a club for everyone in its community.
The relationship with The Sanctuary Refugee Welcome Group began last season when – whilst Newport County AFC put a stop to Accrington Stanley’s fifteen match unbeaten run on the field – off the field, the Club and Community Team welcomed some fantastic young men from three local refugee centres across South Wales to join us for small sided football matches and to watch the match from the stands.
One of the three charities was The Sanctuary based at the Gap Centre based on Stow Hill. Founded in 1998, the project has grown from a volunteer-run, weekly church group to a charity which is open 5 days and 2 evenings a week and provides support, friendship, cultural orientation, English classes, and more for refugees who’ve settled locally. The Sanctuary also organise trips to local places for refugees to learn about Welsh and Newport Culture.
Newport County AFC were delighted to be one of the locations for one of these trips in April 2018.
The trip was such a success with the young men showing a real interest in attending future matches.
These young men couldn't currently afford a ticket to watch the match as they are living on less than £50 a week but showed so much enthusiasm to watch and support the local football Club that Newport County AFC contacted The Sanctuary to offer them two tickets to home league matches during the 2018/19 Season which could be shared about amongst its residents.
So far this season, eight different refugees from The Gap Centre have attended matches and today, Newport County AFC striker Jamille Matt, went to the centre to drop off two season tickets so that the residents of the Gap Centre can continue supporting the Club for the rest of the Season.
After visiting the Gap Centre, Jamille Matt said: "Newport County AFC is a community Club, it's funded by the community but also supports the community. I'm really pleased to be able to deliver these tickets today and to give these young men the opportunity to come along and support County just like any other football fan in the city."
Mark Seymour, The Sanctuary's Project Manager added: "A local football club is an integral part of life in any city around the world, just as it is in Newport. The Sanctuary welcomes and supports asylum seekers and refugees rebuild their lives in their new home of Newport.
"Refugees have fled war or persecution in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea and are eager to participate in the life of the city. Many live on just £5 a day and so tickets to a football match are beyond their budget. We are grateful to Newport County AFC for their support of our project. We want our project participants to cheer the County on this season."