To provide a safe and encouraging environment where young people can come together and enjoy structured sports and learning opportunities. To help the young people of Lambeth fulfil their potential and improve their well-being both physically and emotionally through targeted support to children and families.
The St. Matthew’s Project started life in the summer of 2004 and has developed, literally, from a kick-about in the local 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 friendly football 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 160 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 workshops, and provided one-to-one support to our young people wherever necessary.
Working closely with Lambeth Council and other local agencies, we 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.