Hartlepool United coaches going behind bars to pass on skills to prisoners at Holme House Prison

Hartlepool United coaches are going behind bars to pass on their skills to inmates.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:45 pm
HMP Holme House in Stockton.

Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation (HUCSF), the registered charity of Pools, will go into Holme House Prison at Stockton to deliver FA Level 1 courses in football coaching.

Starting this month, 16 prisoners will spend two weeks completing the coaching course under Hartlepool United’s Under-16s coach Graeme Clark, supported by HUCSF coach Chris Burton.

Two more courses will take place later this year, which hope to produce 48 newly-qualified coaches.

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Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation's head of service Keith Nobbs.

The initiative is the first by Hartlepool Community Sports Foundation as part of the Twinning Project, supported by the UK’s leading clubs and footballing bodies, which aims to support prisoners while inside and to help find work and reduce the chances of reoffending when they are released.

Keith Nobbs, head of the scheme for Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation, said: “The Twinning Project provides a fantastic opportunity for us to utilise the power of the football club in order to provide prisoners who are looking to develop themselves prior to release with an opportunity to gain an FA qualification.

“The hope is that this supports prisoners and reduces reoffending in the future.”

Physical education officer at HMP Holme House Gary Martin said the nationally-recognised qualification will provide the men with the necessary skills and confidence to support them on the road to rehabilitation.

“The partnership between HMP Holme House and Hartlepool United FC presents realistic opportunities for employment within a business which is integral to the local community,” he said.

Tom Hartley, football development manager for the twinning project, added: “We are delighted that Hartlepool United and HMP Holme House will be working together as part of the Twinning Project.

“We are incredibly proud of the relationship that is being fostered between the club and prison and we are excited to see the impact on the people we work with and the wider community.”

A total of 46 Premier League and EFL football clubs have signalled their intent to engage with the Twinning Project and work with prison PE officers.