East End teenagers from Bethnal Green meet Wembley kids on the field

Schoolkids from Bethnal Green and Wembley mix together for football at Weavers Field park

Schoolkids from Bethnal Green and Wembley mix together for football at Weavers Field park - Credit: London Football Journeys charity

The first community “football exchange” has been held in London’s East End where youngsters from the suburbs got to meet pupils from other backgrounds.

Year 9 pupils from Ark Academy in Wembley travelled to Bethnal Green to meet their peers from Oaklands Secondary to discover a different perspective of London.

Football activities organised by Leyton Orient Trust and the London Football Journeys charity built teamwork, communication skills and relationships between the two groups in this first “exchange” that reached across London.

The Wembley youngsters were asked about their thoughts on coming to the East End.

“People said it was dangerous—but it’s not true,” one said. Another thought it was colourful and vibrant and liked the diverse community. The East End, they said, was “amazing, peaceful and quiet”.

The youngsters had “icebreaker” games at Bethnal Green’s Weavers Fields park, mixing the groups together to get to know each other and work as a collective.

This was followed by a meal at Oaklands where staff gave awards to pupils from each school who took part in activities throughout the day.

Most Read

The Football Journeys charity, set up in 2012, brings together young people aged 11 to 15 from different areas to become active and confident and feel less threatened to travel across London. The youngsters meet those in other communities to learn from each other and about each other.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter