Ground-breaking Kensington football project TUFF FC has been praised by the Jewish community for its work to prevent children and young people being exposed to crime and radicalisation.
TUFF – the Unity of Faiths Foundation – has mostly worked with Muslim, Sikh and Christian communities but has now been commended for its efforts across a range of faiths.
The charity was presented with an award by the Jewish Volunteering Network at the Arts Depot Theatre in Finchley last week.
TUFF received a highly-commended award in the inter-faith category after being shortlisted from over 100 nominations.
Anna Prior, TUFF co-founder, said: “This was in recognition of the fact that our work attracts many eager volunteers – from life coaches and IT experts to those who drive the young footballers to training and matches.
“We are partnering with the Barnet Multi-Faith Forum to design and run the Barnet Unity of Faiths Festival in May 2017, and we are also developing a new TUFF FC programme in Barnet, which will enable Jewish and White British youths to develop friendships through football with Muslim youngsters of their own age.”
TUFF has won praise from international figures including President Obama and the Pope for its football programme, which promotes British values and religious tolerance.
The charity says it is keen to extend its successful model into more affluent neighbourhoods that are less familiar with cultural diversity.
It is also making renewed efforts to reach out to young people from a wider range of backgrounds.