Online football sessions enable Islington residents to stay active during the social distancing measures put in place to combat COVID-19. These sessions are an opportunity to safely connect with other members of the community, supporting the wellbeing of residents 

Eight-year-old Jacob lives on the Marquess Estate and usually loves to attend our weekly Good Neighbours Scheme football sessions at the Walter Sickert Centre in Canonbury.  

Since lockdown, Jacob’s parents have noticed the benefit of him attending the weekly online football sessions. The sessions enable him to do an activity he enjoys with people that he knows:  

 “Jacob enjoys the session and it’s definitely helpful to incorporate fitness with familiar faces.”  

Islington has very little green space and has the second lowest proportion of green space in the country (1). So organised activity sessions are a great way of getting people active whilst enjoying these open spaces.  

When the social distancing measures were put in place, the Good Neighbours Scheme had to rethink how it delivered its sessions. The team knows how important physical exercise is to wellbeing, but are also aware of how little access people have to open spaces. They decided to try delivering some sessions online, including the weekly football sessions.   

Nicky, our Senior Coordinator at the Good Neighbours Project, said:  

“We wanted to keep residents involved with our activities as we know how much they enjoy staying active, keeping fit and seeing their friends and neighbours. We’ve tried to replicate as many of our activities online as possible and think that these are one of the best, if not the best, way of staying active and connected during this time.”   

Jacob’s family have loved seeing him benefit from these online sessions. They filmed a short video of him practicing his football skills so that he could inspire others to be active 

To find out more about our Good Neighbours Scheme and to take part in our online activities, ring the General Enquiries Line on 020 3931 6080 or email [email protected] or visit our Activities and Events page ( 


  1. Islington Grounds Maintenance Team (2017).