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MK Dons SET deliver course at HMP Springhill

Twinning Project aims to create local professional football club links with its local prison establishment and form a working relationship to produce opportunity for offenders....

24 April 2023

MK Dons Sport and Education Trust (SET) delivered their first FA Level One qualification course within a prison environment earlier this year, with all 13 participants recently receiving confirmation of their graduation.

The course was delivered in conjunction with the Twinning Project. Twinning is a prison charity that gives offenders the opportunity to access a football coaching qualification. This project was devised by former Arsenal Vice Chairman and co-founder of the Premier league, Mr David Dein MBE.

The idea is that the local professional football club links with its local prison establishment and form a working relationship to produce this opportunity for offenders.

MK Dons SET commenced this programme on 11 January with all 13 participants graduating with their certificates on the 8 March 2023. Scholars from MK Dons' Academy attended the graduation event.


The course was delivered by Paul Stewart, a Custody Coach from MK Dons SET, and PEI Mike Burnham, from HMP SpringHill (both pictured above).

Paul, commenting on the success of this programme, said: “This was a very humbling experience. All the lads involved with in the programme worked incredibly hard with both the theory and the practical delivery.

“Watching the lad’s confidence grow and their coaching skills develop was encouraging. For some, this is the most significant qualification that they have achieved to date.I have watched them grow week by week, gaining leadership skills.

“Some have pending release dates this year and I aim to engage these lads to their local football clubs, in the hope that further opportunities may come from this experience.”

Mike Burnham, PE Instructor at HMP Grendon & Spring Hill, added: “I am extremely proud to be involved with The Twinning Project at HMP Springhill and we are fortunate to be twinned with MK Dons SET.

“Their positive engagement ensured the success of the qualification, providing purposeful activity and allowed participants to be actively involved in their own rehabilitation process.

“As we look to develop our relationship this will hopefully assist with reducing re offending and providing realistic prospects upon release.”

As a result of this success, a further two courses have been booked for May 2023 and September 2023.

To discover more about the great work Paul is doing in the local community CLICK HERE!


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