Thousands of young people will join a National Youth programme through their local Football Club

In 2020, the EFL Trust will double its network and reach to engage over 24,000 young people aged 16 and 17 each year through its network of Club Community Organisations (CCOs), delivering National Citizen Service (NCS), a 4 week programme funded by the Government. 

The EFL Trust won the contract to deliver NCS from 2020 onwards more than doubling its delivery partners to 66 that will include 43 EFL CCOs, 11 Premier League Club CCOs and 12 youth organisations from across the country. NCS is one of the fastest growing youth programmes engaging 500,000 young people since piloting in 2009. The NCS experience will give young people a clearer idea of what they want from their future. They will take on fresh challenges, get a taste of independence and be given a platform to have their voices heard and deliver a social action project that will positively impact their local area.

The EFL Trust has have been involved in NCS since the pilot stages in 2011 engaging with over 60,000 young people during that time. Over 1.8 million hours of voluntary work has been delivered addressing local and national issues which young people are passionate about such as mental health, the environment and plastic waste.

Matthew Wimberley graduated NCS with Barnsley Football Club in 2019 and believes that the programme has change his life;

“I am a different person since doing NCS. It’s an impossible feeling to truly communicate without having experienced it first-hand but what I can say is you will feel fundamentally different in the best way possible. I’m closer to people I met on NCS after 4 weeks than people I’ve known for 4 years I now have all these amazing unforgettable memories that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.

I spent my time on NCS challenging myself and doing things I really wasn’t comfortable doing, but couldn’t help being anything other than proud of myself afterwards.”

Parents and Guardians have recognised the impact NCS has had on young people. Lisa Murray, parent of NCS graduate from Pompey in the Community (Portsmouth FC) was amazed of the difference it has had on her daughter;

“The experience my daughter gained during the 4 week programme surpassed all our expectations and it was great to see her grow in confidence and social awareness throughout this period. This programme is a superb way to help modern children learn new skills, become more confident and understand the community they live in. I know this experience will remain with my daughter for the rest of her life.”

Mike Evans, Director of Operations, EFL Trust, is delighted with the amount of Football Clubs involved in NCS going forward saying;

“The EFL Trust’s vision is to create a stronger, healthier more active communities and we see the delivery of NCS as a significant part of achieving this.

 We are delighted to be able to grow our supply chain of Club Community Organisations and youth organisations involved in NCS and are proud of the impact we have had through NCS so far. Supporting thousands of young people as they transition into adulthood and then in turn make a positive difference in their community is something to be immensely proud of, and we look forward to continuing that in the future.”

Chief Executive of NCS Trust, Michael Lynas said

“I’m incredibly proud of everything that NCS has achieved in the last ten years. As it moves into the next phase of its life, I’m confident NCS can make a more significant difference for our young people and their communities than ever before.”

Brentford FC Deaf Football Coach is shortlisted for an award at the UK Coaching Awards

West London’s Ben Lampert, a coach with England’s deaf football team and Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, is among the first selection of finalists announced last week for the UK Coaching Awards.

The showpiece event, which will be held at The Tower Hotel London on the 5 December, celebrates the outstanding work of a diverse network of coaches who promote healthy and active lives, unlock potential and provide a platform for people to thrive.

Ben Lampert, who is one of the country’s only full-time deaf football coach, is among the finalists in the Changing Lives Award category. Through his work for Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, his Deaf Sports Plus project is breaking down barriers by providing free sporting activities to deaf children and adults. Lampert also works with hearing and deaf children in west London schools, coaching football and teaching sign language. In addition, he is Assistant Manager for the England deaf men’s football team.

Speaking about his award nomination, Lampert said:

“I am honoured to be nominated for the award. It is important to show other Deaf people that it is always possible to achieve your goals.

“I got involved with the 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 communication needs.

“Sometimes I think there is a misconception about deaf people because of their commu­nication needs. If deaf people can achieve great things in sport, we can change this perception.”

UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching Emma Atkins, said:

“The UK Coaching Awards is a true highlight of the year, giving us an opportunity to formally celebrate great coaches from a diverse range of backgrounds and thank them for all of the incredible work they do.

“Over three million people regularly coach across the UK, from grassroots to elite level, helping to create and maintain happy and healthy lives, and benefit communities. Coaches have the power to enrich the skills of the people they work with.

“This year we have added the Changing Lives Award, which recognises coaches who are empowering, inspiring and connecting people from diverse communities to overcome life challenges. It is a category which illustrates the way in which coaches can transform lives.

“I would like to offer huge congratulations to all of those who have been nominated for the first four awards. The standard of nominations we received this year was extraordinary, demonstrating the strength of coaching in the UK.

“Thank you to all our coaches across the UK, and to our finalists. We are all looking forward to celebrating your achievements in December.”

Finalists for the final eight awards will be announced in November, including The Great Coaching Moment of the Year prize. This will be shortlisted by the Sports Journalists’ Association and will be open to a public vote.

The UK Coaching Awards recognise and reward great coaching from a diverse array of backgrounds. Previous winners range from coaches and organisations working at an elite level to those making a huge difference in their community.

Wigan Athletic captain Sam Morsy attends football session for young people from Wigan Mosque

Wigan Athletic captain Samy Morsy attended one of Latics’ Premier League Kicks sessions at Wigan Youth Zone on Monday evening.

The weekly football session is for young people aged 8-16 who attend Wigan Mosque, with the visit part of the club’s equality and diversity programme Together, and in support of Kick it Out.

Latics captain Morsy helped youngsters with their football skills during the session and says it’s great to be able to create opportunities for Wigan’s Muslim community and, in particular, 8-16-year olds looking to develop their football skills.

He said: “It’s been amazing to be honest. It’s about raising awareness to the local community and the Muslim community too.

“For the kids to come and be able to play and enjoy their football, it gets them involved and they’ve had a great time and hopefully they can continue to enjoy playing football.

“Everyone should have the right to play freely and it’s not always like that, but being in football we can do something about that.”

Sunday’s game against Nottingham Forest will see Latics celebrate the work of Kick it Out and the Together programme and Samy says it’s important to get all communities involved in football.

“It’s an important message to offer opportunities to an under-represented group and there has been boys here today from all around the world.

“It’s about them enjoying the football and enjoying their free time. They are lovely people, great souls and are really happy and that is great to see.”

Through the Kicks programme, Wigan Athletic Community Trust provide free football and sports opportunities for over 1,000 young people a year between the ages of 8- 19, in five different areas of Wigan.

During 2018-19, 1,498 young people took people took part in Kicks, 25% of which were girls.

Labour MP for Wigan, Lisa Nandy, was also present at the Kicks session and was able to meet some of the young people.

She added: “I met some of the boys taking part and it is amazing to see them grow in confidence. I don’t think many of them would have had this opportunity if the Community Trust and Wigan Athletic as a whole hadn’t reached out to the Mosque and made contact.

“We are really lucky in Wigan to have that, because I know from speaking to colleagues in Parliament that many clubs don’t go to those great lengths to reach out to groups who are underrepresented in football.

“It shows once again that Wigan are leading the way in trying to bring new groups into football and keep the game going and reaching out to more young people and also changing lives.”

The scheme aims to help create stronger, safer communities by developing young people’s potential and also includes health and lifestyle workshops including dangers of drugs and alcohol and knife crime, and involvement can lead to volunteering, qualifications and apprenticeship opportunities for participants.

Emad Sawesi, 10, regularly attends the session at the Wigan Youth Zone.

He said: “I’ve been coming for about a year and a half and it’s great as you can play football with other players from the Wigan community and playing with them is enjoyable.

“It’s a sport that is my favourite and I have always loved a lot. Also being able to meet a player like Samy Morsy was a dream come true as well.”

The free sessions for young people from Wigan Mosque run every Monday between 5pm-6pm at Wigan Youth Zone.

For more information on Kicks, please contact Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Senior Community Development Co-ordinator Steve Eastwood by calling 01942 318090 or emailing [email protected].

Disability Confident Announcement

The EFL Trust are proud to announce that they have achieved Level 1 of the Disability Confident scheme and are committed to the government’s objectives with regards increasing the number of disabled people in work. The scheme was launched in November 2016 and supports a commitment to having 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.

There are over 7.6 million people of working age in the UK who are disabled or have a health condition. There has historically been a large gap between the numbers of disabled people employed compared with non-disabled people.

DWP has a vital role to play in supporting people with disability or longer term health conditions into or back into work.

There are clear positive outcomes from the scheme. For example, there were 3.9 million working age disabled people in employment in the UK in January to March 2019. This was an increase of 177,000 since last year (January to March 2018), and an overall increase of 947,000 since January to March 2014, the earliest comparable figure.

The EFL Trust joins over 5,000 employers in the scheme, all with the shared aim of improving support for people with disabilities or longer term health conditions into or back into work.

Achievement of level 1 of the scheme involves agreeing to the Disability Confident commitments and identifying positive action to be carried out that makes a difference for disabled people. The EFL Trust will be seeking Level 2 status in the near future.


Bristol City stars discuss importance of diversity with primary school students

As part of Black History Month, City players Korey Smith, Saikou Janneh, and Abi Harrison attended a Q+A session with the group of youngsters.

The group of Greenfield E-ACT academy students – who work with the Robins Foundation on their Premier League Primary Stars programme – were invited to the question and answers session as part of Black History Month.

The day aimed to raise awareness about the importance of diversity in both football and society as a whole and provided a chance for the youngsters to learn first-hand about some of the challenges faced by the players.

Bristol City Robins Foundation Premier League Primary Stars lead coach, James Howiantz, told the foundation, “We have used today to show the importance of celebrating diversity. We want to ensure that young people in our community are educated to appreciate the variety of cultures and races in society. 

“Black History Month allows people to shine a light on the achievements of black people and to learn what discriminatory challenges are faced on a daily basis. The children here today have been extremely fortunate to hear some very open and honest comments on this topic.”


Korey Smith told the Foundation, “I think it is brilliant that these young people are learning about diversity.”

“When I was younger you never used to hear anything on the subject unless it was in your own house.” 

Abi Harrison commented, “I think having this topic taught in schools is really positive, and it is so important that they learn about this now so that the challenges that people of our generation faced don’t happen again.”

Over 43 stone lost on Football Fans in Training course at Wycombe Wanderers

  • 55 Wycombe Wanderers fans have lost a combined 43 stone on a fitness programme run at the Club.

Football Fans in Training (FFIT) is a lifestyle programme aimed at overweight football fans, encouraging them to lose weight, get fit and live a healthier, more active life.

Fans on the scheme take part in a 12-week training programme delivered by their Club Community Organisation (CCO) at their team’s home stadium. They are also grounded in current science of how to eat more healthily and become more active.

Between the 55 people who have graduated on Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust’s FFIT programme, over 43 stone has been lost and a combined 335cm off the waist.

Sam White, Community Health Manager at Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust said: “The project isn’t about going on diets and counting calories, it’s about gradual changes to make one big change at the end.

“It’s all about the hints and tips, eating healthily, portion sizes and getting regular exercise in.”

Before attending FFIT sessions, Peter Jemmett was diagnosed with unstable angina and had his first stent in 2013, then 3 and a half years later suffered a heart attack whilst walking.

He said: “The heart attack was a big wake up call for me, I was a bit lost after I did the cardiac rehab and found it really hard to motivate myself to train and then I heard about FFIT.

“I was a little worried at first about the FFIT training being too intensive four or five months after I had the heart attack, but I was able to really work at my own pace and start the training gently which was ideal for me.”

The popular initiative has also had a significant positive impact on mental health. Out of the five teams who have taken part in the course, 83 percent of people have improved their mental health score.

Francis Willmott a participant on the course said: “After 12 weeks this course has been a life changing experience for me.

“Not only has it helped me physically but mentally too, you get to know each other and develop a good camaraderie, you can get through things together.

“I was an absolute novice before I came to FFIT about nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins and the traffic light system on food labels. I am definitely feeling much healthier these days!”












Barnsley’s mental health programme ‘Safety Nets’ launches

Reds in the Community (RitC), a registered charity delivering community and charitable activities on behalf of Barnsley Football Club, are proud to be launching Safety Nets, a mental health programme run in partnership with CAMHS Barnsley.

CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – is an NHS provided service for people up to the age of 18 with mental ill health or emotional difficulties.

Currently operating across the borough, CAMHS Barnsley support children and families through a wide variety of issues.

Following a successful pilot initiative, and with a second scheme already underway, RitC are marking World Mental Health Day 2019 by officially launching Safety Nets.

The weekly programme, which is based at Oakwell, incorporates an hour of physical activity and sport with a 30-minute workshop focusing on a wide range of topics including living a healthy lifestyle, coping strategies and social media.

Women & Girls Development Officer Lynn Goodman, who also delivers Reds in the Community’s mental health football session each Tuesday, gave an insight into why this work is so important.

She said: “The sessions are aimed at getting 11-18-year-olds active. The sessions are running well. In the last batch, they were 15-year-olds. Towards week three or four, they come out more confident and were very expressive with what help they need and the importance of lifestyle.

“Children and young adults find it difficult to cope, especially teens because they’ve got exams as well so they’ve got more pressure on them. With Football Club’s it’s big. Mental health is out there and it’s alright to say you’ve got issues. We’re trying to just help the young people.”

Jack Mooney is the CAMHS lead on the programme at Reds in the Community.

He explained the initiative further and the perks of using sport as a tool for discussing and promoting positive mental health.

“Safety Nets is a programme that aims to engage people in discussions about mental health and promoting positive mental health through the medium of sport,” said Jack. “We’ve already run one cohort in Barnsley with the help of Reds in the Community. We are currently in the middle of the second one. For the first time we run it, we run it for people aged 14-16-year-old who were already known to Barnsley CAMHS and accessing the service. We got really good feedback.

“On this occasion, we are aiming it at a slightly younger audience and it’s going really well. The feedback we got was really positive about combining sport with some discussion around mental health. We’ve kept the focus largely on the sport, promoting positive mental health through engagement in physical activity.”

Mitre become official EFL Trust kit supplier

The EFL Trust are pleased to announce that Mitre are now the official kit supplier to EFL Trust and support football in the community.

EFL Trust employees are proud to wear their newly supplied Mitre kit whilst they undertake their activities in the community and at EFL Trust events.

Our teams can be seen out in their new kit at community coaching sessions. At our recent EFL Trust National Conference, the entire workforce wore their kit on the second day of Conference at St. George’s Park.

Mike Evans, Director of Operations, EFL Trust said: “We are delighted to have Mitre’s support in the community and the quality of the dual branded team wear kit that are employees are proudly wearing is excellent.”

“It’s a great way to meet new friends, I’d rather be out than sitting in on my own.”


To mark World Mental Health Day 2019 on Thursday, a football tournament was held at Prenton Park’s Recreation Centre in partnership with Wirral Ways to Recovery and Tranmere Rovers In the Community.

Also in attendance for the tournament were A New Approach, Knowsley CGL, and Spider Project.

Wirral Ways to Recovery provides drug and alcohol users with fast and easy to access treatment and support, with regular football sessions held weekly by Tranmere Rovers In the Community (TRIC).

Ray Smith, from Wirral Ways to Recovery, said: “We’ve come together today because of World Mental Health Day, we have brought agencies from around Merseyside, the Wirral and Tameside, and a lot of the lads playing have had problems with mental health.

“We get together once a week at Tranmere through Wirral Ways, and we try our hardest to keep the lads on the straight and narrow, and it helps with their mental health and their physical health.”

Shaun Garnett, Tranmere Rovers’ first-team defensive coach, shared his own personal story, and says that’s Rovers’ work in the Wirral community is important.

He added: “It is a great cause, and it’s a cause that I fully back through my brother being mentally ill, he was diagnosed with bipolar in 2003 so if it is something that I can support through my job, I’ll always do it.

“Tranmere do great work, Steve and all the rest of the gang in the community, they work extremely hard, whether it be mental health or Alzheimer’s, whatever it may be, and whatever cause it may be, it just highlights it and attracts a little bit of attention, so if people end up coming and it helps them, well then it’s a worthwhile exercise.”

Liam Elliott, Wirral Ways to Recovery participant, explained how sessions at Tranmere Rovers has helped him make new friends.

Liam said: “I’ve always been a lover of football, and I’ve got anxiety, depression, paranoia and schizophrenia, and it’s a great way to come and meet new friends, I’d rather be out than sitting in on my own and it gets us all out and about.”

The Club’s staff have a planned training with Mind Charity. This is ongoing.

To learn more about TRIC and the work that they do, please CLICK HERE

Active Minds having a positive impact on Mental Health

Mansfield Town Football in the Community’s ‘Active Minds: Chat’ session has had a massive impact on the mental well-being of its participants, as it approaches its first birthday.

Working regularly with around twenty participants per week, ‘Active Minds’ gives those facing social isolation, suffering from mental health issues or living with Dementia a safe haven to make new friends and enjoy a range of positive activities.

Marking World Mental Health Day today [Thursday 10th October], participants and their loved ones have been speaking about the impact ‘Active Minds’ has on their Mental Health.

Carol Wright is the wife of long term attendee Peter and believes the sessions have helped to transform his Mental Health in the fight against Dementia.

She said “Since the group began a year ago he’s only missed two sessions through holiday, it’s his highlight of the week. He gets up a totally different person on a Friday morning and when we go away from here [the sessions] he goes flat again.

“People don’t believe the difference in him so it’s well worth it [attending] – he worked at the club as a steward for two decades and apart from watching the games, this is the main thing in his life.

“That sounds sad as he’s got grandchildren & family, he loves them of course, but this just makes such a difference to him.”

Mick Walker, 80, was diagnosed with a form of mixed Vascular Dementia in December 2018 and has been attending the sessions for ten months – “I really enjoy the company, being with the lads and having someone different to talk to” Said Mick.

“The wife and I used to watch the games from the North Stand during our youth, so coming back brings back lots of happy memories.

“Everyone here is trying to help us I’ve made lots of new friends, it’s really good for all of us – all of the staff are brilliant, I really appreciate how they’re trying to help us with the variety of activities they put on.

“It gives us all something to do, something to talk about and really look forward to – coming here means you’re not sat at home shut down.”

Norma Walker, Mick’s wife, has been stunned by the difference in the group has made on Mick “He really needs this session to keep his brain active, we met at 16 and have been married 61 years now and it kills me inside to see how the Dementia has taken its toll – he lives for Friday’s and to be honest, so do I, because he lights back up.

“Friday is his day, any other day he doesn’t like and he becomes depressed – he loves it here. It gives him a meaning to get up and come out, and as for me? Well I couldn’t be more grateful that this group exists, I honestly have no idea what I’d do without it.”

Active Minds is open for anyone living with Dementia, those caring for anyone living dementia, or those with any form of mental illness or suffering from social isolation.

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