Football united

REFUGEES joined forces with Ipswich police, social services and hospital staff in a football tournament to mark the end of a celebratory week.The tournament was held at Suffolk police headquarters in Martlesham and marked the end of National Refugee Week.

REFUGEES joined forces with Ipswich police, social services and hospital staff in a football tournament to mark the end of a celebratory week.

The tournament was held at Suffolk police headquarters in Martlesham and marked the end of National Refugee Week.

As well as police, the event was organised by the Refugee Council and Blatchford Mulberry Properties who house asylum seekers in Ipswich.

There were 14 teams playing and many had travelled from as far away as London.

Pc Sarah Shrubshall, hate crime investigator and organiser of the event, said: "We have held the event for the last five years now and feel it plays an important part in bringing the community together.

"My role with the police covers community liaison and so I organised this project to encourage awareness of refugees. The day is all about community spirit."

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Ian Beatty, refugee council team manager, said: "The national week is a celebration of all that is positive about refugees coming to live in England. It also helps to raise awareness about refugee issues.

"Many people have misconceptions about refugees and this is a chance for people to meet them and realise they are just ordinary people trying to get on with life."

Mr Beatty said this year's tournament, held on Sunday had been a real achievement for the Refugee Council as it was the first time their team had not lost a match in five years. Instead they drew 0-0 with a refugee team from Lewisham.

The tournament was won by Mitali Fc, from Woking in Surrey, who beat Ipswich team Five Stars three nil in the final.

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