Tony: “I can’t believe how much my life has turned around. The support of friends I have met through Extra Time Hubs has been vital.”

As part of our Extra Time Hubs launch this week, we’re highlighting the story of one particular person who has found a new lease of life through the programme…

Tony, who is retired and found himself very lonely after going through a divorce late in life, credits Derby County Community Trust’s programmes, including EFL Trust Extra Time Hubs, for turning his life around.

After a period of what he describes as ‘lonely depression’, Tony realised he needed to change something and as a lifelong Derby County supporter, the work of Derby County Community Trust really appealed to him.

He joined the Rams’ EFL Trust Extra Time Hubs as a volunteer and thanks to the programme, now finds life more fulfilling, has made many new friends and has something to look forward to every week.

He said: “I had retired from a very fulfilling job in education. I thought my life would involve normal things that retirement brings: family, friends, holidays and plenty of time in the garden.

“However, things didn’t work out as I anticipated. A sudden, and to me, unexpected relationship breakdown turned my life upside down and I found myself living alone feeling quite bereft from the retirement I anticipated.

“After a period of what can only be described as lonely depression, I realised I needed to do something.

“I now volunteer at Derby County Community Trust’s Extra Time Hub, where we bring people together in a comfortable, welcoming environment with the goal of helping people improve their health and wellbeing.

“And that is precisely what my involvement with Derby County Community Trust has done for me.

“My life is now full of activity and I now have more friends than I have ever had before.

“We meet socially at the EFL Trust Extra Time Hub, have meals out and organise many other social events.

“The support and camaraderie of the friends I have met through the Hubs has been vitally important in giving me back my self-esteem and confidence. I can’t believe how much my life has turned around.”

Studies show that 42% of those over the age of 55 are inactive and would like opportunities to meet peers to feel less isolated, live well and do things they enjoy.

Funded with the support of Sport England’s Active Aging fund from the National Lottery, the EFL Trust Extra Time Hubs programme will initially be delivered by 12 EFL Clubs across the country, harnessing the power of football in local communities to bring people together. All 12 Clubs will hold launch events at their respective grounds throughout the week.

To find out more, follow the hashtag: #ExtraTimeHubs or visit

12 Extra Time Hubs launched

This week we launch ‘Extra Time Hubs’, which are designed to engage retired and semi-retired people and combat loneliness and inactivity.

Studies show that 42% of those over the age of 55 are inactive. EFL Trust’s own research revealed many people would like the opportunity to meet peers to feel less isolated, live well and do things they enjoy.

Launched to coincide with Loneliness Awareness Week, the Extra Time Hubs will harness the unique assets of our network to bring older people together and provide a range of activities that could benefit their physical and mental health. Activities vary from quizzes to arts and crafts and even bungee jumping!

Funded with the support of Sport England’s Active Ageing fund from the National Lottery, Hubs will initially be created at 12 CCOs across the country, harnessing the power of football in local communities. All 12 Extra Time Hubs will hold launch events at their respective grounds throughout this week.

Director of Operations at EFL Trust, Mike Evans said, “We have a BIG ambition – an ambition to help older people to create a national movement of Extra Time Hubs that will make a positive difference to how thousands can enjoy their later years. Extra Time Hubs will enable people to decide which activities they want to do and not be prescribed for well as giving people the opportunity to meet like-minded people and feel less isolated.”

Sport England’s Executive Director for Tackling Inactivity, Mike Diaper comments, “Maintaining an active lifestyle as you grow older delivers massive health and social benefits. However, we know that you are more likely to be less active as an older person.

“Often it can feel like the barriers to getting active grow as we age but there are simple changes people can make to get active or stay active and Sport England invests National Lottery funding into projects like the EFL Trust’s Extra Time Hubs to make that happen.

 “The EFL and those working on the Hubs have taken specific care to understand the needs of the older adults taking part in their local areas to provide a fantastic service and prove that getting older doesn’t have to mean slowing down.”

Loneliness Minister Mims Davies said, “Loneliness is one of the biggest health challenges our country faces and we know that getting out and making new social connections can really help people feel less isolated. ‘Extra Time Hubs’ is a fantastic project, helping older people stay active and make friends – bringing communities together through sport.”

The 12 Clubs involved in the scheme are: Bolton Wanderers, Burton Albion, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, Crawley Town, Derby County, Lincoln City, Northampton Town, Plymouth Argyle, Shrewsbury Town, Sunderland and Wigan Athletic.

Eight straight national titles for ‘amazing’ Charlton Upbeats

  • Upbeats pick up ninth DS Active title in Birmingham
  • Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s Down’s syndrome team win final 8-1

The Charlton Upbeats won a sensational ninth DS (Down’s syndrome) Active national title on Sunday 9 June.

Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s (CACT) record-breaking group secured their eighth consecutive success in style, beating Bristol Down’s Syndrome Football and Swindon Town’s joint All Stars team 8-1 in the final.

14 Upbeats travelled up to this year’s tournament, split into two teams: Upbeats Addicks and Upbeats Valiants.

Organised by the Down’s Syndrome Association, the DS Active National Festival brought 24 teams from across the UK together, with more than 150 participants in total.

The Upbeats travelled up to Birmingham the night before, staying in the Arden Hotel near the National Exhibition Centre with their families and CACT coaches.

Upbeats Addicks were drawn in a group alongside Merseyside Blues, who they beat in last year’s final, and took on in their opening game. 1-1 midway through, it finished 3-1 to the Upbeats, just like last season’s final.

The Addicks won all five group games, seeing off the likes of Millwall Community Trust and Fulham FC Foundation’s DS teams, who they beat 5-0 and 4-1 respectively.

Upbeats Valiants’ results included a hard-earned 1-0 win against Lincoln City Foundation’s DS team and a 6-1 drubbing of Merseyside Whites.

Jack Lyons was the Valiants’ top scorer, with nine goals in his five matches. But defeat to QPR in the Community’s side meant they missed out on qualifying for the semi-finals on goal difference.

Upbeats Addicks got there, however, and beat Lincoln 4-0 to set up a final against Bristol and Swindon’s combined team, who triumphed against Arsenal Community’s North London United in the other semi-final.

The Upbeats raced into a 4-0 lead within four minutes. All Stars pulled one back but a fine right-footed drive from Jack Wood soon made it five and the Upbeats went on to cruise to victory.

Attending his first tournament, Ben Geary, a CACT Casual Coach who helps train the Upbeats weekly, said:

“My first weekend coaching the Upbeats in a competitive way was great fun! The atmosphere was incredible and everyone was so welcoming. What an amazing experience!”

The Upbeats were similarly thrilled.

Malick Irmal, who was appearing in his fifth tournament, said:

“Charlton had more power, more energy; we did good! This feels like our Champions League final”.

James Barnes, who has been involved in the programme since the start, said:

“I feel overwhelmed. It was an amazing performance by the Upbeats. Let’s do this and win next year’s DS Active tournament and bring that back to Sparrows Lane too.”

William Ely, who scored a brace in the final, said:

“I did my best out there and it was a great day. It’s eight times in a row that we’ve won it, but I want to win it again.”

Another successful title defence next year would see the Upbeats win their 10th title, securing what some supporters are already referring to as la Decima.

They celebrated in style, with their own rendition of chants and songs they and more than 38,000 other Addicks had sung at Wembley as Charlton’s first-team clinched promotion.

The programme allows participants to play high-level football in an inclusive environment but also increases the aspirations of Upbeats and their families, strengthening bonds and relationships between them.

On 26 June, the Upbeats will be heading to Belfast to take part in the George Best Community Cup. It will be the third time they will participate in the pan-disability tournament run by the Irish FA.

Louie: “NCS made me who I am today”

“They were the worst two years of my life. I was shy, nervous and wouldn’t talk to people” says Louie Salmon, 16, from Peterborough.

However fast forward two years after completing NCS (National Citizen Service) and Louie is a very different person, he now has the confidence to stand in front of peers and tell his story whilst also securing a job with his local football team.

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“It was only through the Ealing Young Carers Project I have been able to develop my passion for photography”

On UK Carers Week, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust highlighted how they gave Mia, a young carer for her mum, an experience she would never forget.

With the noise levels escalating, and a sea of red scarves behind her, fourteen-year-old Mia Lloyd nervously took her position at the side of the pitch as Brentford FC’s official photographer for their match against Blackburn Rovers back in February.

She took part in the football club’s first Community Takeover, which saw ten children from eight of Brentford’s community projects, go behind the scenes and join match-day staff to learn the ropes.

Mia, who is a young carer for her mum, joined Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s young carers project when she was eight, and credits the project with igniting her passion for photography.

Her eight-year-old self could scarcely imagine that, six years later, she would be photographing Brentford’s most high-profile players and have her work showcased on Brentford FC’s website.

“I really enjoy photography – it has allowed me to express myself and I was honoured to be able to photograph a team that I have supported since I was little.

“It is only through the Ealing Young Carers Project that I have been able to develop my passion for photography.”

And for Mia’s mum, Jacky, the day proved a ‘proud mum moment’ as she watched her daughter photograph one of Brentford’s most memorable matches of the season: the Bees fighting back from 2-0 down to win 5-2 against Blackburn Rovers.

“I have to admit I felt pretty big-headed seeing my daughter on the pitch in front of all those football fans; I never thought she would do something like this, so I am immensely proud to have witnessed that,” she explained. “Young carers need a break and deserve to be ‘normal’ teenagers like everyone else – I think it is a fantastic project.”

With 700,000 young carers living in the UK, the Trust’s young carers programme aims to provide teenagers like Mia with much-needed respite. Commissioned by Ealing Council, the project gives carers between eight and 18-years-old somewhere to socialise, learn new skills and gain in confidence. Since the project has been commissioned to the Trust, participation has gone from 25 young carers to nearly 200.

Along with photography, meeting other young carers has proven a lifeline for Mia.

“Meeting other young carers has been great as they understand what it’s like to be ‘me’. The project has helped build my confidence and I can share experiences with other young carers.”

Kathryn Sobczak, the Trust’s Young Carers Coordinator, has seen first-hand the change in Mia.

“The fact that Mia took part in the Community Takeover and took photographs of professional footballers in front of thousands of people is testament to how far she has come,” Kathryn said.

“When I first met Mia, she was quiet. But now she has grown in confidence and made many friends.”

The project also offers one-to-one mentoring and a wide range of activities, including: after-school homework clubs; lunchtime clubs; fortnightly youth clubs; fortnightly swimming clubs and day trips.

Employment and education opportunities are made available too, including work experience placements and CV writing.

If you know someone who could benefit from our Young Carers project, you can contact Kathryn at [email protected] or on 020 8326 7044.

EFL Trust Corporate Volunteering Scheme producing fantastic results

Funding 550 Prostate Cancer Tests at Turf Moor and decorating a house for people less fortunate. These were all made possible, last year, thanks to EFL Trust’s Corporate Volunteering Scheme.

The scheme allows members of staff 2 days each year to volunteer their time during work hours. It was introduced 2 years ago and has already had some fantastic results. As part of #VolunteerWeek2019, it only feels right for us to share them.

Mike Evans, Director of Operations, took on a cycling challenge to fundraise for Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal (BKPCA), a charity that aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer and provide testing days for men aged 50+.

With a team of cyclists, Mike a Trustee of BKPCA, covered 417 miles in 5 days, starting in Burnley, heading to Bruges, back through to Dover, into London and then completing the challenge in Walsall.

The team raised over £24,000 for BKPCA which has helped to fund screening events across the country, including one more recently at Turf Moor which tested over 550 men for prostate cancer.

Mike said; “As a charity, it’s important that we give staff time to volunteer for causes they are passionate about.

“I’m a keen cyclist and this was a great opportunity to support a cause that is close to my heart. It was a tough ride but to know this has benefited 550 men made it all worthwhile.”

More recently, Charlotte Dinsdale, Matt Conway, Tony Buck and Lucy Shuttleworth from EFL Trust’s NCS Team volunteered their time with Hull Homeless Community Project (HHCP).

The group decorated a flat to support a lady who has suffered serious abuse and exploitation. The abuse has left her being partially blind and as a result, she struggles to focus on strong colours.

The EFL Trust team specifically painted the walls white, which has made a significant difference to her life by helping  to stabilize her sight.

Charlotte said: “EFL Trust have a strong relationship with HHCP because of the link through NCS, and the impact that project has had on the charity. It was great to be able to give up my own time to have a positive impact on a lady who has been through unimaginable things.”

Geoff: “If I hadn’t had the mentoring from Nigel this year I probably wouldn’t have finished school.”

Coaching Week takes place between 3rd – 9th June 2019 and aims to showcase how coaches can play a major part in building stronger, happier and healthier communities. In order to illustrate this we are shining the spotlight on the work of one of Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s coaches, Nigel, who works on their mentoring programme.  

Geoff is a Year 11 pupil at Shrewsbury Academy and at the beginning of the year was identified as being an ideal candidate to benefit from one-to-one support due to his initial lack of engagement, enthusiasm and his disruptive behaviour.

Since September, Nigel has been working with Geoff weekly to discuss Geoff’s barriers to learning and help inspire him.

Geoff tells us: “At the start of the year I was getting into trouble at school so I started working with Nigel to help improve my behaviour to not get as many detentions and phone calls home.

“I do better when I have something to work for and having something to aim for so Nigel has given me goals to work towards and I think I have actually managed to reach them.”  

Since Nigel started mentoring Geoff, his school has noted that he has now taken ownership over his own learning, shown through him taking it upon himself to visit Nigel during lunch and break to update him on his progress and has also began to help out with lunchtime activities for younger year groups and is also volunteering to help coach on our Soccer Schools during half-term.

As a reward for his hard-work and changing attitude towards learning, Geoff was invited to a few Shrewsbury Town home games at the end of the season where he was able to shadow members of the match-day staff, helping to deliver tours of the stadium and with other pre-match activities to show him what working opportunities are available within a football club and give him an idea of where his hard work could end up.

Geoff added: “Coming to the games has given me the idea that I wanted to work within a football Club in some way, doing something similar to what I do when I come in for games now.” 

When Geoff returned to school following the Easter break, he was taken off report for the first time this year, demonstrating the progress he has made and the difference the mentoring has had. He is now preparing to take his GCSE exams.

Geoff’s Mum has also noted the impact that the mentoring scheme has had for Geoff and the progress he has made:

“Geoffrey, the PE department staff and Nigel all seem to share a mutual respect. Without Nigel and the mentoring scheme we don’t believe that Geoffrey would have finished the year without going on permanent early study leave, and for this we are extremely grateful to Nigel and Shrewsbury Town in the Community.”  

Geoff is also very aware of the difference that the mentoring scheme has had on him and now has a more clear idea of his goals moving forward:

“If I hadn’t had the mentoring this year I probably wouldn’t have finished school and would have been in loads of trouble all the time. I think the mentoring has helped me with my behaviour loads. When I finish school I want to join the volunteer academy and carry being involved with the club to help me get to where I want to be.”

#CoachingWeek #GreatCoaching

Britain’s only full-time deaf football coach inspiring the next generation

Ben Lampert, Sports Coach at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and England’s Deaf Football Assistant Coach, is helping to break down barriers and inspire the next generation of players.

The 33-year-old who won Gold with Team GB Deaf Football at the Melbourne 2005 Deaflympics, has been working with the Bees’ Trust for nine years and currently oversees the Deaf Coaching programme.

The programme encourages children and adults to get involved with sport and tackle the existing obstacles they face.

Talking about his involvement with the Trust he said:

“I got involved with the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust so that I could break down the barriers I faced as a child and to ensure that sport can be enjoyed by all deaf people.

“Growing up, I had to fit in and adapt to sports sessions – rather than the sessions being adapted to me and my disability.

 “Sometimes, I think there is a misconception that deaf people can’t achieve anything because of their disability.

“If deaf people can achieve great things in sport, we can change this mentality.”

Ben has also been responsible for fostering greater integration amongst deaf and hearing children through the Trust’s NCS programme.

As part of the programme, deaf and hearing youngsters taught Brentford fans signs language at Brentford’s west London derby against QPR back in March.

Ben taught Brentford FC’s Head Coach Thomas Frank sign language and the post-match press conference was translated into sign language for deaf people involved.

Ben said: “It means a lot to me to inspire and coach the younger generation to develop and achieve their goals.

“It is important to me as there are not enough deaf coaches. I want to encourage others to get involved and learn from my experiences and knowledge.”

Although Ben is currently in Crete coaching England’s deaf team for the Deaf Euros, he says his work with hundreds of children, from Brent to Richmond, is his proudest achievement.

Peter Shears, who oversees the Trust’s disability projects, spoke of Ben’s invaluable contribution to the charity. He said:

“When we first started our deaf coaching programme we only had three or four deaf children involved. Now, we engage with more than 180 deaf children and adults each year.

“This is testament to Ben’s influence amongst the deaf community and how he harnesses the power of sport to inspire deaf children and adults.”

#CoachingWeek #GreatCoaching 


To view our story book with many more impactful stories like Bens’s, click here.

PNE Coach shares his motivation for Coaching Week


Coaching Week takes place between 3rd – 9th June 2019 and aims to showcase how coaches can play a major part in building stronger, happier and healthier communities. We’re highlighting the story of one particular coach whose passion towards his trade is making a huge impact on the participants of our community programmes.

Inclusion Coach Jordan Catterall has been with the Preston North End Community and Education Trust just shy of two years, and comes into contact with participants of all abilities.

From nurturing players on our development centres into Academies, to increasing sports participation through Premier League Kicks and disability programmes that the Trust run, Jordan’s job is as varied as it is rewarding as he explains:

“I’ve always played football from a young age and I kind of just fell into coaching. I first started coaching around seven years ago and it was a way for me to stay involved in football.

“I love allowing kids to have fun whilst playing football. The main thing for me is enjoyment and mass participation in the game, whether that be boys, girls or whoever. It’s important to give people the opportunity to play football, to get involved and to not discriminate against ability levels or anything like that.

“The best thing about coaching is seeing that light bulb moment with a player that you’re working with. It might be a case of working with a player over a long period of time and then suddenly seeing it finally click and they get what you’re trying to teach them.

“I love seeing progress in players too; helping them develop those players and helping them to become better people as well as players, because life doesn’t just revolve around just football. It’s about developing the person as well as the player.”

#CoachingWeek #GreatCoaching

“It’s all about your experience and volunteering is key to that, especially as a young coach.”

Sports clubs and organisations across the country are celebrating Coaching Week, an opportunity to showcase the fantastic work completed by coaches.

Jordan Bond recently joined Reds in the Community (RitC) as a Community Coach, becoming the latest student at the charity to progress into paid work at Oakwell.

Interested in a sports career from an early age, Jordan took the first step in coaching aged 15, putting himself through an FA Level One course.

After finishing school, he began studying at RitC on the Level Three Extended Diploma whilst volunteering at the Charity as well as at other organisations around the Barnsley Borough.

Following the course, Jordan worked and picked up more voluntary coaching hours whilst using his initiative further by completing his FA Level Two.

He returned to Reds in the Community in September 2018 to study on the inaugural year of the Foundation Degree programme, which is run in partnership with the University of South Wales.

His commitment both inside and outside of the classroom has enabled him to take advantage of the plethora of opportunities at Oakwell, as well as being one of 26 students who took part in a two-week coaching experience in Malta earlier this year.

Now a paid Community Coach at Reds in the Community despite having another year left on his Foundation Degree, Jordan gave an insight into his development at Oakwell.

He said: “Being on the degree, it’s enabled me to go to Malta and do coaching out there which was a new experience. The kids can’t speak English so you have got to do a lot of demonstrations. I’ve gone out to primary schools and worked on soccer camps.

“Being involved with the Shadow Scholarship, that’s going to help me develop because I also coach an U15’s team. I’ve developed massively. My confidence has improved. I’ve got more experience and I just want to go as far as I can with coaching and hopefully go abroad next year.”

Education Officer Mark Crossfield has overseen Jordan’s journey from student to Community Coach.

Mark was full of praise for Jordan, who has become the latest youngster to progress from studying at Reds in the Community to working for the Charity.

He said: “Jordan was a perfect student. He applied himself in all units, had a great attitude towards his education and achieved some top grades. Along with all other students, Jordan was given opportunities to get involved in coaching and he took advantage of those opportunities.

“Going to Malta this year, Jordan was one of the senior students and acted as a role model to those that were a little bit younger. Aside from his studying, he’s got himself involved in refereeing and worked with other coaching organisations around Barnsley to further his coaching expertise.

“It’s all about your experience and volunteering is key to that, especially as a young coach. That’s something that Jordan has taken advantage of. As a person, he’s matured. He’s now got that independence, he can lead sessions and can take criticism on board.

“He’s still at the starting point of his journey in terms of becoming an experienced coach but he’s making excellent progress. If he continues doing what he’s doing, he’s going to be really successful as a sports coach as a career.”

Reds in the Community are currently recruiting for two Community Coaches, with the deadline for applications being Friday 7th June.

For more information and to apply, click HERE.