Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation is to launch its first Twinning Project delivery at HMP Holme House.

HUCSF, the registered charity of Hartlepool United, will this month begin its first course within Holme House, in Stockton.

Delivered by Pools’ Under-16 coach Graeme Clark and supported by HUCSF coach Chris Burton, 16 prisoners will spend two weeks completing their FA Level 1 in Football Coaching. Two more courses will take place in 2020, which will hopefully see a total of 48 newly qualified coaches.

Launched in October 2018 and supported by the UK’s leading clubs and footballing bodies, the Twinning Project aims to support prisoners whilst in custody and on release to help prepare them to find work outside of prison and reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

Gary Martin, Physical Education Office, HMP Holme House said: “This nationally recognised qualification will provide the men with the necessary skills and confidence to support their rehabilitation pathway.

“The partnership between HMP Holme House and Hartlepool United FC presents realistic opportunities for employment within a business which is integral to the local community.”

Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation head of scheme Keith Nobbs added: “The Twinning Project provides a fantastic opportunity for us to utilise the power of the football club in order to provide prisoners who are looking to develop themselves prior to release with an opportunity to gain an FA qualification. The hope is that this supports prisoners and reduces reoffending in the future.”

Tom Hartley, Football Development Manager of the Twinning Project hailed the link up and said: “We are delighted that Hartlepool United and HMP Holme House will be working together as part of the Twinning Project. We are incredibly proud of the relationship that is being fostered between the club and prison and we are excited to see the impact on the people we work with and the wider community.”