Millwall Community Trust Welcome Sadiq Khan to The Lions Centre
Earlier this week, MCT had the pleasure of welcoming Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London to the Lions Centre, to observe the range of programmes that we offer to our local community.
Khan was joined on the visit by Damien Egan, the Mayor of Lewisham, Sophie Linden, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and Debbie Weeks-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility, and Community Engagement.
During the visit, Khan received a presentation from representatives of the Divert programme, one of MCT’s partners, who help young people in custody turn their lives around through employment and training opportunities across a range of sectors.
He then moved on to sit in one one of our adult employability programme sessions, helping those who are unemployed or in low paid work to develop their skills and gain new qualifications to help them progress into employment or training.
The visit concluded with Khan joining in with one of our half-term holiday camp sessions, and hosting a Q&A with the over 60 children that take part in the activities we offer.
Praising the work of MCT, Khan said: “I’m really pleased to visit Millwall and see for myself how they are invested in young people.
“I complain about the levels of obesity in youth, and giving these people things to do during half-term, as Millwall are doing here, is a step in the right direction. I was keen to come for myself to see and support the good that the club are doing, that isn’t always reported on.”
Steve Kavanagh, CEO of Millwall FC, praised the power of MCT’s activities and said: “Football is a fantastic engagement tool. Once you engage people, having hooked them in with football, then you can start to deliver change.
“We will take on any major issues – I’ve said to Sadiq and to politicians, that if there is a challenge out there to talk to us and if we can help, we’ll get involved. Provided together we work, then our communities can change, be educated and can grow.”
Sean Daly, MCT Football Development Manager, said: “We’re delivering everything from sports, to healthy eating projects, to crime and gang awareness. What we have are some inspirational coaches, who are great role models to these young people.
“Football is the engager, so to bring people to a stadium like here at Millwall – once we’ve got them over the line about engaging with the football club – we then use football as a vehicle to deal with wider social issues.”