With the Christmas break just around the corner, it was time for the second MCT MOPAC Festival at the Lions Centre. Surely, we were in store for an absolute cracker. On Monday 28th November, 60 young people from Lewisham, Southwark, & Greenwich came together once again to celebrate the intervention and diversionary work that happens day in and day out at the London Premier League Kicks (MOPAC) programme.

The day consisted of social educational, life lessons, personal reflection, and last but no least a football tournament. Paul Hannaford, an inspirational life speaker who shares his personal journey with up to 10,000 young people a year, delivered hard hitting messages to the groups of young people in attendance. Detailing his early years as a prolific offender, drug addict, and gang member, Paul used images, videos, and physical scars to show his life experiences. St. John’s Ambulance was also in attendance on the day delivering ‘Stick it’ workshops, which focused on equipping young people with the skills needed to save lives. The tailored delivery showed our young people how to correctly treat knife, and gunshot wounds to prolong survival, as well as communication, casualty care, and understanding the recovery position.

The tool of using football to engage and educate young people within our communities is invaluable and needed. Sixty young people have now been educated around the negatives of drug use, gang culture, life in prison, and the unfortunate physical effects of that life. Those 60 young people have also gained vital life skills on how to prolong or save a life, a life, which could potentially be very close to them personally. Alongside the workshops delivered the young people will now be formally accredited with a certification for their attendance, and general understanding of the content.

Participants came from Abbey Manor College Broadoak & John Evelyn Campuses, Southwark Inclusive Learning Service KS3 & 4, Moatbridge Secondary School, and the MCT Academy Development Team, and acted as great ambassadors for their respective provision. On the football front the Abbey Manor College Broadoak Campus boys ran away with the tournament, lifting the trophy and taking the bragging rights back to Lee Green.

Community Development Officer, Tom Rolt commented saying;

“As expected today was another spectacle, and celebration of the work that we do on the projects. The staff, and young people thoroughly enjoyed the day from the first workshop, to the final game of the tournament. The day was a culmination of the life changing work that goes on day in day out.”

You can contact Tom Rolt - Community Development Officer via [email protected]