The two events reinforced that addressing the refugee crisis requires a holistic approach, with different groups playing a part. The public event hosted at Brighton was an opportunity to share understanding about the ways in which sport, and football in particular, can play a part in helping to support refugees globally. Bringing together non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers, academics, fans, grassroots organisations and policymakers, it brought together different interests, both from practice and research. Through dissemination and discussion, it is hoped that we contribute to the debate about what works and influence policymaking in this field.
Caroline Lucas MP pledged to use the policy briefings which emerge from this work and Lord Bassam and Councillor Anne Jones CBE from West Sussex Council also voiced their support for the aims of the event.
With many organisations identifying partnerships as being key to co-ordinating skills, this event enabled the creation of new networks and opportunities to work together.
During the two workshops, fan groups met, shared best practice and highlighted some of the structural issues affecting volunteers helping refugees on the ground. On the day following the event, football fans at non-league Whitehawk FC held a 'Refugees Welcome' day during their match against St Albans in the FA Trophy, showing the positive and unifying aspect of football which was the theme of the project.