The best person to tell this story is someone who has watched this football club evolve over the past two years, Mick Dawber. This is what he said about this partnership at the ALMT Burns Night supper in February:
‘I could quote stats to you about St. Ann’s being amongst the 10% most deprived areas in the country, but stats don’t really paint a comprehensive picture. The reality is that there is some real hardship in our local community, but there is also a strong sense of unity, and a desire to make positive change for the future.
Thanks to the funding and support from The Angus Lawson Memorial Trust, SAS FC has grown from 1 team to 8 in just under 2 years, and has a solid foundation to ensure long term sustainability, but we still have a long way to go…We can identify individuals, steer them into football and away from negative life choices. Children as young as 6 are referred to us by the police, as they are associating with young men known to be involved in criminal activity.
We are also working with some of the more vulnerable and needy young people in our community, who have that many barriers to participation that without our assistance, it would be impossible for them to play football. Some of the children that we work with, some as young as 10, are full time carers for family members. This means that they cannot attend matches, as they need to be at home.
With both groups we are starting to see an increase in self-confidence, improved social skills, and a reduction in negative behaviour, both in school and in the community, as a result of playing for SAS FC.’
It’s no surprise to us that they are being recognised for the success of what is now a thriving, fun and successful community football club.