Over the last year, the Salmon Youth Centre has worked with young people to increase their speaking and listening skills, encouraging them to have a positive voice in their community

As part of this aim, Wednesday nights football sessions took on a different feel over the last few weeks with young people not only taking part in football but also taking part in video interviews and filming. We teamed up with London Football Journeys to provide a football project that was unlike any other that we had taken part in before. Salmon's young footballers made an introductory video about their community, youth club and love of football. They learnt how to interview, present, direct, storyboard and operate camera equipment. Once the video was created we then showcased the video and asked for feedback from those who starred in it. The video was then sent to another youth club in London and the great exchange began

The exchange took place with St Andrews Youth Club in Westminster. Salmon footballers watched St Andrews video to get a feel for their youth club, community and people. Our first football session was in Battersea Park where it absolutely poured down all day. A coach from Chelsea Football Club led the young players through a series of games that allowed players from both youth clubs to get to know each other. The day was set up so there would be no "us and them" everyone mixed with everyone. The football sessions finished with a 7-a-side tournament, before heading off for for food and a tour at St Andrews.

Our home exchange took place in Southwark Park and, by contrast to the first exchange, we had beautiful sunshine all day. The exchange was led by a Millwall Football Coach who ran the young players through a number of footballing games and drills before ending with a 7-a-side tournament. Coaches and youth workers were looking out for players who were likely to win player of the exchange, those who were giving 100% effort, motivated their team mates, able to communicate effectively and ensuring their whole team were involved. St Andrews youth club were then invited back to Salmon for a tour of the building, food and presentations. 

The Football Exchange created an opportunity for our young people to travel to new areas, meet new people from different communities, challenge stereotypes about themselves and build confidence in engaging with others. 

Visit London Football Journeys' website: http://londonfootballjourneys.org/ 

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