FURD volunteers singled out for praise by new British Prime Minister30 July 2007

Two volunteers from Football Unites, Racism Divides are featured in a new book by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In his book, ‘Britain’s Everyday Heroes’, Gordon Brown tells the stories of 33 everyday heroes – ordinary people whose willing commitment to a cause or a community has informed and inspired him. A keen football enthusiast, and supporter of Scottish club Raith Rovers, Brown acknowledges foootball's 'amazing ability to break down barriers created by ignorance or prejudice'.

FURD’s Kevin Titterton and Desbon Bushiri Rubamba met the Prime Minister during a recent visit to Sheffield, and he was so impressed by their stories that he has included a chapter about their experience of voluntary community work.

In it, Gordon Brown comments: ‘As FURD demonstrates, it is often local community projects that can deliver the most powerful outcomes’ and goes on to say: ‘The work of this inspiring project continues week after week, engaging young people in something they have a passion for, and, along the way, showing what we can achieve when we work together as part of a team’.

Kevin Titterton, whose volunteer work at FURD began in its early days when he single-handedly built the project’s Streetkick mobile football game, now acts as secretary for Sharrow United, a multicultural team which has recently been promoted to Division One of the Meadowhall Sunday Football League. He has also been an enthusiastic volunteer for the Football Unites library.

Desbon came to the project in 2000 as a newly-arrived asylum seeker from war-torn Burundi, and, an exciting young footballer, was soon turning out for Sheffield United reserves, before eventually becoming a Millennium Volunteer, and now a qualified FA coach with FURD.

‘I found Desbon’s story particularly moving, because in helping so many people to make changes in their lives, he has been able to build a new life for himself; in helping others participate in their communities, he has found his own community’. Gordon Brown.

The book was produced in partnership with Community Links and is published by Mainstream Publishing. It is available to borrow from the Football Unites library.