Swansea City AFC Foundation deliver first element of Twinning project in HMP Swansea

12th February
Twinning Project

Swansea City AFC Foundation has successfully delivered their first instalment of its Twinning Project - which aims to improve mental and physical health and wellbeing for prisoners - at HMP Swansea.

The Twinning Project is a partnership between the HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and professional football clubs.

It also seeks to enable prisoners to obtain a qualification which could help them gain employment on release.

Twelve participants took part in the inaugural delivery of the programme, which seeks to engage prisoners through football leadership and coaching.

Robin O’Brien, one of the Foundation’s health and wellbeing officers, has been working with staff inside HMP Swansea to deliver accredited coaching and employability-based qualifications, and believes the initiative makes a considerable positive impact.

“Personally, it was great to deliver the first cohort of the programme," he said.

"I really enjoyed working with the group and there is potential for some to get involved in coaching beyond release, which is brilliant. I’m looking forward to working with the next group, who will start the programme in March this year.”

“The project has helped with their behaviour and has given those involved something to look forward to when they are released," added Lyndon Johnson, physical education officer at HMP Swansea.

“That’s been the whole purpose of the course, to build their characters and help them lead a normal life on release.

“The prisoners know the Swans are involved and that adds an extra element for them. For me, it’s good to have links with outside agencies and organisations, and everyone benefits from it.

“Robin has been great with the group, and has been very professional and a good role model for the group.

"Everyone has worked well together and that’s allowed Robin to give the participants confidence. We can see how some of them have come out of their shells.

“The key for us is that we don’t want them to re-offend. So to have even one or two of them go out and get employment, that is success to us.

"Now they have a qualification which will help them with that. The life skills, confidence and character building they’ve developed through the Twinning Project is vital for them.”