Wembley teens take part in the first community “football exchange” in the East End

Schoolkids from Bethnal Green and Wembley mix together for football at Weavers Field park

Schoolkids from Bethnal Green and Wembley mix together for football at Weavers Field park - Credit: London Football Journeys charity

A group of pupils from a school in Wembley took part in the first community “football exchange” to be held in the East End.

The year nine teenagers from Ark Academy in Bridge Road, travelled to Bethnal Green where they meet their peers from Oaklands Secondary and discovered a different perspective of London.

Football activities organised by Leyton Orient Trust and the London Football Journeys charity built teamwork, communication skills and relationships between the two groups in this first “exchange” that reached across London.

The Wembley youngsters were asked about their thoughts on coming to the East End.

“People said it was dangerous—but it’s not true,” one said. Another thought it was colourful and vibrant and liked the diverse community. The East End, they said, was “amazing, peaceful and quiet”.

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The youngsters had “icebreaker” games which mixed the groups together to get to know each other and work as a collective.

This was followed by a meal at Oaklands where staff gave awards to pupils from each school who took part in activities throughout the day.

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The Football Journeys charity, set up in 2012, brings together young people aged 11 to 15 from different areas to become active and confident and feel less threatened to travel across London. The youngsters meet those in other communities to learn from each other and about each other.

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