Police and partners in Norwich and across the county will be hoping to be on the ball as well as build on community relationships this week.

Officers from Norfolk Constabulary and staff from Norfolk County Council’s Specialist Social Work Service-Diverse Communities department are taking on a group of young Black people in a community football match in Norwich on Saturday 9 October.

The event which has been jointly organised by Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk County Council and Mashinga Trust is being incorporated into The Black History Month calendar, to build relationships and to use it as an opportunity to raise awareness of the Black community’s identity and how they have contributed to society.  Black History Month aims to promote knowledge of black history, culture and heritage to everyone.

Inspector Lisa Hooper from Heartsease and Thorpe Hamlet Safer Neighbourhood Team who are helping to organise the event said ”We are really pleased to be taking part in the community match.  It is an excellent opportunity to engage and build links with communities who may come from very different backgrounds through a shared passion for football.

“The aim is to have a fun day but have history as an integral part of the event.  We would encourage as many people as possible to come along and watch.”

Corporate Equality and Diversity Manager at Norfolk Constabulary Abraham Eshetu said “It is an exciting opportunity to help support Black History Month on a local level and is important to raise awareness and remember the achievements of Black people in our county.

“However, we would ultimately hope to celebrate the achievements not only for one month each year, but integrate it into all aspects of society throughout the year.

“We hope that this event will be well supported and could even become a regular feature in the Constabulary and local community’s calendar.”

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council Alison Thomas said “We are proud to support Black History Month and have organised this event to help further develop the relationship between young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and the police and county council.

"Our specialist social work team works with children from a range of backgrounds including refugees and asylum seekers and is keen to breakdown any barriers that might exist and help young people understand the work of the agencies that are there to support them and the wider community.

"We want to celebrate Norfolk's diverse communities and there is no better way to celebrate than through the universal language of football.”