Palace joins prison ‘Twinning Project’
Crystal Palace is offering rehabilitation support to offenders as part of the nationwide Twinning Project, an innovative scheme which matches clubs with their local prisons.
Palace for Life Foundation, the club’s official charity, will deliver work-based skills training to young offenders at HMP High Down in Sutton to help them develop resilience, prepare for release and improve their chances of employment.
Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “Crystal Palace Football Club is at the heart of our community and the Foundation is doing outstanding work with those young people in the area who need some extra support.
“The Twinning Project is another fantastic way for us to use football and our club to inspire positive change and help young offenders make the right choices when they leave prison.”
The new initiative was founded by former FA and Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein and has attracted clubs from the Premier League and EFL.
David Dein commented: “I am delighted that Crystal Palace have signed up to the Twinning Project. The team at Palace for Life Foundation will undoubtedly deliver valuable coaching and employability skills into HMP High Down.”
The Foundation will run Premier League Works at the prison, a programme which provides young people with support to develop their personal and social skills giving them the confidence and the experience they need to make a positive transition back into education, access training or gain meaningful employment.
Palace for Life Foundation chief executive Mike Summers added: “We work with 13,000 young people in south London each year, with a focus on helping those who have had a difficult start in life, or are going through a challenging time.
“We’re absolutely delighted to use our expertise in this area to join the growing number of clubs on the Twinning Project.
“We look forward to working closely with HMP High Down, where we will offer young offenders the chance to gain new skills and routes into training or employment to prepare for a brighter future.”
Listen to David Dein discuss the Twinning Project and Palace for Life on LBC below.
The Twinning Project is backed by the Government as well as the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League, the Professional Footballers’ Association, match officials body PGMOL and the League Managers Association. The first courses are expected to begin this spring.