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Barnsley Anti-Racism Football Tournament

posted by: Nick Stevens | on: Monday, 18 January 2016, 11:05

Some of the teams on show. Photo: Mark Harvey

Some of the teams on show. Photo: Mark Harvey

It’s fair to say that we at HOPE not hate have written extensively over the years about the relationship between organised football violence and the growth and movements of the far-right scene in the UK. That being the case, it is always a delight when we can write about the opposite: a positive story about the impact of ‘the beautiful game’, and its role in bringing people together.

And so was the case in Barnsley on Saturday 16th January, as 16 teams from across Yorkshire, and even as far afield as London and Leicester, came together for a 5-a-side ‘Anti-Racism Tournament’ organised by Unite the Union, with backing from Show Racism The Red Card and Barnsley FC Community Support Trust.

HOPE not hate was delighted to be invited to the fantastic, diverse, event in a freezing sports hall next to Barnsley football ground in the middle of the South Yorkshire town. The ground itself is situated in a residential area, and walking around, one really gets the sense of the unifying properties of the world’s most popular sport, as the game becomes a catalyst for a community to come together.

As teams such as ‘Yorkshire St Pauli’, ‘Barnsley ESOL’ and ‘Manchester Refugee Support’ clashed in their various groups, the viewing gallery and seating area was packed with people determined to stand in solidarity with those that some see fit to demonise and scapegoat.

Being as they were only 5 minutes long, and with 3 matches being played at once, the games themselves were played at a whirlwind pace, with some fantastic individual and team skill on show. Whilst we got a stitch just watching, the boundless levels of energy from all involved needs to be commended, as does the organisation of the day itself, which was superb. Also, a big thank you to the caterers who put on a great spread to keep the teams full of vitality.

In the end, Manchester Refugee Support emerged victorious, so congratulations to them!

DCC United put on a solid display. Photo: Mark Harvey

DCC United put on a solid display. Photo: Mark Harvey

Spot the ball, answers on a postcard. Photo: Mark Harvey

Spot the ball, answers on a postcard. Photo: Mark Harvey

 Posted: 18 Jan 2016 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Hackney winter appeal for refugees

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 14 January 2016, 15:03

HOPE not hate is supporting an excellent initiative by the Hackney Cypriot Association (HCA) to help refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East this winter.

HCA volunteer Andrew Marr is volunteering at Eidomeni, a transit camp for refugees crossing the border to Macedonia. He has alerted the group to the urgent need for just about everything for the refugees passing through these camps.

With border restrictions, increasing, the likelihood is that many who arrive at the camp every day will not be able to move on, creating many more difficulties and a possible humanitarian crisis.

HCA is collecting essential clothing and everyday goods that are urgently required and sending it over to the camps. This appeal is also for money needed for packing, freight transport and any other urgent needs at the camps.

“We have organised collection points in Dalston, Clapton and Haggerston,” says Andreas Michaelides, Chairperson of HCA.

You can find all the details here:

Along with collecting the donated goods HCA have to pay for delivery to the camps. Each weekly lorry costs between £250 and £1,000 each, obviously depending on the amount of goods being sent.

All cash donations will go through HCA to provide transport of the donated goods. For transportation we are using DHL, who offer a weekly freight service direct into Europe and the specified refugee camps. and click on the Charity Choice button, thank you.

For those living outside Hackney but are keen to help, please contact Andreas Michaelides, Hackney Cypriot Association (Registered Charity), 5 Balls Pond Road, London N1 4AX

 Posted: 14 Jan 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments