2nd Chance News
The Dave Wray Memorial Football Tournament
On Friday 19th October many members of the Second Chance Project came together to compete in a football tournament to celebrate the life of fellow member Dave Wray who recently lost his battle with addiction.
Suprisingly the sun was shining and spirits were high as the football tournament commenced. There were numerous teams from far and wide including tournament favourites North East Athletic but every participant was determined to triumph and ensure it was their team who took home the trophy.
The ten minute 5-aside games offered the opportunity for players to demonstrate their footballing finesse and flair much to the enjoyment of the supporters but it was teams Crisis and North East Athletic who earnt places in the final. After some nail-biting play, the final whistle blew finishing the game 2-1 to North East Athletic. Forum were also successful in the fair play contest, winning the final and taking home the fair play trophy.
However, it was a valiant effort from all teams and as referee Mark Smith said: "The tournament has been brilliant. Everyone's had a fantastic attitude and there's been very little aggression. It really has been played in the best nature and best spirit".
Cliff Johnson a trainee support worker from Fells who was responisble for organising the day explained the importance of football in helping the recovery process as well as raising awareness of addicition. He said: "Everyone here deserves to change their life. A lad has lost his, but today has been amazing at bringing people together. The day has been about celebrating Dave and his life as well as reminding everyone there is hope. So many people pass away from the disease of addiction and are forgotten too quickly, so having this memorial is a great way to remember and hopefully it will become a yearly thing. Playing sport helps break down barriers and participating gives people a sense of worth and achievement. It's all about moving forwards and giving people hope."
A First-Class Night at the Second Chance Debate
The 2011 Second Chance debate drew to a glorious conclusion on Friday with the results of eight weeks of hard work on the parts of the students and participants. During this time, a group of Durham students have taught a group of people from disadvantaged positions how to debate. A fantastic final debate followed a sumptuous black-tie reception and meal in the Durham Castle Senate Suite. There aren’t many more impressive surroundings in which to dine and it seemed as though some of the Second Chancers were naturally overawed as they took their seats. However, no-one could have guessed that much as the prop and op rose to speak in the chamber.
Skilfully-constructed conclusions followed well-argued points as the two sides exchanged blows on the motion that Christmas does more harm than good. The topic itself was chosen by the debaters and was a very good topic for this debate in particular. While for many of us, it may seem that there isn’t really anything to contest here (of course Christmas is a good thing!), for people who have seen the worst side of the holiday season, the motion evoked passionate and emotional responses.
But the debate was certainly not without humour, clever quips kept the audience engaged and in high spirits, while a floor speech from the self-appointed University College Turkey Welfare and Tenements representative was one of the more surreal moments. The speeches from both sides were greeted with rapturous applause and this was no more than was deserved.
Having seen first-hand how far all the participants in the Second Chance programme have come from their very first meeting, what has been achieved by all those involved is truly incredible. A transformation from a feeling of wariness and apprehension into a new-found confidence had taken place. As many of those there were quick to point out, standing up and speaking in front of over 100 people is something only a small percentage of people would be willing to do and for that alone praise was in order.
The qualities of perseverance, determination and courage exhibited by both students and participants do great credit to the University and the Tyneside Cyrenians. An extra gloss was put on an already special occasion with a congratulatory speech and presentation from Cyrenians Board Member Mike Parker. Each debater received a pack containing a certificate of achievement, a photo-montage of their time on the programme and other mementoes, which it is hoped will provide evidence to prospective future employers of confidence, commitment and an ability to work with others.
The Second Chance debate has been running for 5 successful years and I for one am already looking forward to the 2012 programme. It really is a groundbreaking scheme which gives fantastic opportunities to people who really need them and can, on the back of such opportunities, begin to turn their lives around.
2011 Second Chance Debate Programme has begun!
The remarkably successful Second Chance Debate scheme commenced on Tuesday 11th October for the fifth year in a row. The programme is a joint project organised by Team Durham, Durham Union Society and Tyneside Cyrenians, a charity helping the vulnerable, disadvantaged and homeless.
For eight weeks, members of Durham Union will coach participants who are recovering from substance abuse, homeless or are in similarly disadvantaged positions. The scheme will culminate in a debate before the Durham Union Society on a topic of the particpants choosing towards the end of the year. The project promises to yet again be extremely worthwhile for both parties.
Keep an eye out on the Team Durham Community section for updates.
Regional tournament gives Second Chance teams chance to test their skills
Recovering substance misusers who are rebuilding their lives through sport have taken part in a regional football tournament.
The teams formed from the Second Chance and Multisport Programme competed in the event at the North Shields Powerleague Soccer Dome.
The Second Chance programme is central to all of Team Durham Community’s outreach work at Durham University.
It delivers sport and activity sessions, coached and supervised by trained personnel, to clients recovering from substance misuse, some of whom are involved with the Criminal Justice System.
Clients attend each week to use the superb facilities at Durham University’s Maiden Castle Sports Centre.
This year has seen 170 new clients attend, increasing the number who have participated to 578. More than 40 students have volunteered since the project’s inception.
Three teams from the programme, two from Darlington and one from Bishop Auckland and Peterlee took part in the soccer tournament earlier in December. The latter team attends Maiden Castle in Durham each week to be coached by Richard Warburton and former Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Darlington footballer Alun Armstrong.
Turning Point from Newcastle was the winning football team.
The Second Chance Programme is supported by the Football Foundation and also, the Northern Rock Foundation, who, through Sports Universities North East England, support the programme across the 5 universities in the North East.
Student volunteer Tom Bigglestone said: "This tournament provided the opportunity for the clients of this programme to put the skills they have been learning into practice.
"They work hard on skills, fitness and tactical awareness each week in their training sessions and it is vital to have a chance to test this against other teams who have been doing the very same.
"Healthy competition and the possibility of silverware gives the clients a real aim to work towards."
Sports Development Officer Andrea Hoskins said, "It is hoped their experiences here will aid their push to the final of the next Regional tournament, due to be held in late spring.
"The Darlington teams were newly formed and showed raw talent that will also bring rewards at the next tournament."