Andy Burnham helps to launch Latics Extra Time Hub session at Leigh Miners Welfare Institute

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham helped to launch Latics Extra Time Hub at Leigh Miners Welfare Institute on Thursday morning.

Run by Wigan Athletic Community Trust staff, the new session in Leigh continues the ongoing commitment by Latics to become a more age-friendly organisation.

Andy enjoyed a number of activities with members including table tennis, curling and archery with the programme aiming to make a positive different to the lives of retired and semi-retired people.

He said: “I have loved it and it’s brilliant to see everyone getting together, especially people who potentially don’t know each other, doing some gentle activities. It’s something I believe we need much more of in all communities.

“As a resident of this borough, I see how much Wigan Athletic Community Trust do across the community and they deserve great credit for what they do, touching all age groups, young and old, and over the years they have gone from strength to strength.

“Going forward we need to have a culture of activity in all of our communities and the Community Trust are leading the way on that.”

Funded by the National Lottery and Sport England and backed by the EFL Trust, the Extra Time Hub offers a range of activities and also the chance to meet and spend time with other like-minded people from the area.

The Community Trust also run a session at the DW Stadium every Tuesday afternoon between 1pm-3pm.

Christine Blundell, Extra Time Hub Activator for Wigan Athletic, said: “Extra Time is one of the projects that Wigan Athletic Community Trust offer to our ageing community and specifically for semi-retired or retired people in the community.

“We offer a variety of activities on the weekly sessions, anything from a quiz to table tennis with the aim of getting like-minded people together to tackle loneliness and social isolation and overall improve health and wellbeing.

“We have been running a session at the DW Stadium for nearly a year and had a huge success with it with over 50 members signed up and an average of 25 members attending a week. It’s done so well we wanted to bring it across the borough to Leigh.”

Doreen Cummins recently started attending the session in Leigh and says it is exactly what she needed.

“I enjoy the social aspect of Extra Time; chatting to other members and having a go at the number of different activities like the quiz.

“It’s great having it in Leigh because I can walk to the session and everything about it is right for me, there are nice people here and I’ve met new friends as well.

“You feel good when you go home because you’ve had a laugh, you’ve enjoyed your afternoon and you don’t feel like you’ve wasted a day.”

Sessions are £3 per week, with your first session free. Refreshments also provided.

To find out more information about the Extra Time Hub, please contact Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Extra Time Hub Activator Christine Blundell on or call 01942 318090.



Football Unites to celebrate NCS teen’s contribution to society

#NCSMatchday is a national campaign run by the EFL Trust celebrating the impact thousands of young people from EFL & Premier League Clubs have had in their local community.

In 2019, young people on the National Citizen Service delivered over 650 Social Action Projects, volunteered over 260,000 hours of social action and raised over £230,000 for local charities and causes through their local football Club.

Through the EFL Trust, NCS is delivered by 65 football Clubs and youth organisations up and down the country providing young people aged 16-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and supports their transition into adulthood.

This year #NCSMatchday is supported by over 40 EFL and Premier League Clubs during February and March raising awareness of NCS and the positive impact it has had in local communities.

First team players from Clubs such as Leeds United, Wigan Athletic and QPR will welcome NCS Graduates and wear an NCS branded t-shirt as they warm up to celebrate the young people’s work in the local community.

Middlesbrough Football Club are one of the Clubs supporting #NCSMatchday and First Team player Johnny Howson is fully behind the campaign and NCS;

“I saw first-hand last summer the difference the NCS programme can make, not just to the lives of the young people who take part. MFC Foundation (Middlesbrough Football Club), invited me to spend time with some of the participants and it was a real eye-opener.

“It isn’t just about the four-week programme, for many of them it is the first time they have spent time away from home, learning how to cope that little bit of independence. Life skills which come easier to some than others.

“The programme is varied, there is a lot of fun to be had and if something like this had been around when I was their age I would definitely have been interested. It’s a great experience.”

Mike Evans, Chief Executive Officer at EFL Trust:

“NCS Match Day is now a key date in the football calendar. The support we get from EFL and Premier league clubs to amplify the positive message of NCS is fantastic. Football is at the heart of the community and a key driver to engage audiences that would not normally engage. NCS is inclusive for all young people and football helps us engage all parts of the community.  

NCS is a key project for EFL Trust to deliver on our vision of stronger, healthier more active communities.” 

Almost 600,000 young people have completed the NCS programme to date, giving up an incredible 14.5 million hours to social action projects since NCS started. Since 2009, EFL Trust have engaged over 60,000 young people across the country on NCS.

To find out more and sign up, visit:

EFL Trust hosts largest ever NCS Conference

Hundreds of team members from the EFL Trust’s NCS network came together from across the country to celebrate the success of NCS 2019 and look ahead at delivering the experience to 24,000 young people this year.

NCS is a youth programme that runs every summer and autumn, during school holidays, designed for 16-17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland.

Teens get the opportunity to mix with a new crowd, live away from home for a while, take on new challenges and in the process build lifelong friendships.

Having successfully won a bid to deliver NCS to 24,000 young people in 2020, the EFL Trust’s NCS Conference doubled in size, welcoming over 65 NCS providers including Community Club Organisations, Sports Charities and Youth Organisations.

The purpose of the conference was to share experiences and learn from one another so that EFL Trust’s network can provide the best possible experience for young people across the country on NCS.

Hosting this year’s conference was NCS Graduate Jasmin Devine-Runkee, who did an excellent job in front of over 170 delegates. Jasmin is a fine example of how NCS allows young people to grow. She graduated from NCS in 2018 with Hymers College in Hull and has since gone onto take part in plenty of opportunities which includes hosting this year’s conference and being a key member of the EFL Trust’s Regional Youth Board.

During the conference delegates heard from Dame Juila Cleverdon, Board member of NCS Trust and co-founder of #iwill campaign. Julia spoke with passion about the EFL Trust’s NCS programme and the positive impact our network has had on thousands of young people. Referring to the power of football, Julia said;

“You have an incredible power to reach, retain and excite people in communities in ways that others just can’t.”

Delegates also heard from NCS Graduates, Emmanuel Essien, Leonie Hudson and Joe Harris, who shared their experience on NCS and their journey after, inspiring the audience. Amanda Best, Chief Operations Officer, at NCS Trust also addressed the network about the exciting future of NCS, and the delegates also heard from Dan Baxter, College Relationship Manager at NCS Trust.

Dominik Stingas Paczko, Head of NCS at EFL Trust was delighted with how the EFL Trust NCS Conference had gone;

“The range of NCS experience in attendance across the audience, is by far the broadest we have ever had. Some delivery partners are entering their 9th year of delivery, while others are embarking on their first tentative steps. Our conference has been an opportunity to share their knowledge, enthusiasm and learn different ways of working to enhance each and everyone’s NCS programme so we can offer the best possible programme to young people of this country.”

EFL Trust has worked with NCS since 2009, delivering the life-changing experience for young people across the country. To date, we have worked with over 60,000 teenagers, helping them to realise their potential and reach their future goals.

JOE: “I was never motivated by sitting in a classroom, so the blended learning aspect of the course really helped me.”

Joe Pym, Education and Recruitment Officer at Wigan Athletic Community Trust, has embarked on an educational pathway with Wigan Athletic and the University of South Wales (USW).

The 26-year-old’s involvement on the USW Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching course led him to achieve his dreams and ambitions of working for his boyhood Club.

The Foundation Degree course develops the skills and qualities that are required to work within professional football Clubs community departments or national governing bodies in areas of growth such as social inclusion, community coaching and football development.

Students are uniquely based within their own local football Clubs, with a minimum of five days per year at the USW Sport Park, a £3.7m state-of-the-art coaching and performance development centre.

After completion of the Foundation Degree course, Joe also achieved a 1st class honours in the USW BSc (Hons) Football Coaching, Development, Administration (Top Up), gaining a full Bachelor of Science degree in less than a year.

Alongside his studies, Joe had the opportunity to work as a Head Coach and Disability Coordinator at Wigan Athletic Community Trust, gaining vital coaching experience in different community environments and with different ages.

He really credits the blended learning aspect of the courses, saying:

“I wasn’t the most academic person at school or college, I was never particularly motivated by sitting in a classroom, it’s just not me.

“The flexibility of the blended learning is what really helped me achieve my ambitions and gain the qualifications I needed to get to where I am now.

“Rather than being sat in a lecture hall with over 150 people, you’re in a football work environment with 7 or 8 people who become your peers and you’re supported by a mentor at the Club who sets you targets and gives you one to one feedback.

“This aspect really helped me and I’d recommend the course to anybody.”

Joe started his employment pathway with Latics, in a Head Coach role for Every Player Counts, a programme that covers a wide range of disabilities, giving many people the chance to participate in sport for the first time.

He added: “It is so rewarding to be a part of changing someone’s life and helping them to enjoy sport, seeing their face light up on the football pitch is the best feeling.

“When people see you wearing the Wigan Athletic badge it stands out and they look up to you as a role model.”

He finds great pride in sharing his knowledge to those who were once in his position, as he now mentors students at Wigan Athletic Community Trust on the same USW course he completed.

“It feels amazing to give back to those who were once in my position, trying to work out what to do in life.

“To have a job I enjoy, working and representing the Club I’ve supported all my life, and to be giving back to my community makes me incredibly proud.”

To find out more about the course, click here.

EFL Trust Board Trustee and young NCS champion announced within New Year Honours

Charlotte Hill, Senior Independent Trustee on the EFL Trust Board has been awarded an OBE for services to young people in the 2020 New Year Honours.

Charlotte joined the EFL Board in March 2015 and has been a driving force behind the charity’s governance reforms and strategy, especially towards creating opportunities for young people.

Charlotte became Chief Executive of Step Up to Serve, the charity that coordinates the #iwill campaign, in April 2014. Under her leadership, the campaign has grown from strength to strength and over 1,000 organisations have pledged to the campaign, from an initial fifty at its launch.

During the period of Charlotte’s leadership, £500m of Government funding has been secured for youth services due to collective lobbying by #iwillcampaign youth-sector partners and £70m+ of funding for youth social action has been secured through the #iwill Fund. 300 inspirational #iwill Ambassadors from across the UK now represent the campaign.

Charlotte is currently on maternity leave and will be returning to Step Up To Serve in Spring 2020. Prior to joining the #iwill campaign, she had been Chief Executive of UK Youth. Charlotte also worked for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) as their Parliamentary Advisor.

Charlotte Hill said:

“I’m honoured and humbled to receive this award. Young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow. They have the energy, talent and ideas to change the world today. So all the credit goes to them, to my wonderful colleagues at Step Up To Serve, and to the brilliant organisations I have had the joy of working with who are committed to growing the power of youth.”

Also featured in this Jaunary’s honours is Jack Marshall, NCS Graduate and former Regional Youth Board member of EFL Trust who has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours.

Jack, 21 from Belton, near Grantham, was awarded a BEM in the New Year Honours for his fundraising and campaigning for the rights of disabled children.

Jack himself, has Moebius syndrome, which has left him with no facial nerves. He also has no cerebellum which affects his balance and coordination, but despite his health issues he has raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Talking about the award, Jack said he was very “honoured and privileged” to have been recognised.

“I am surprised, I am only 21,” he said.

“I am very honoured and privileged. I don’t do it for the awards or the recognition.

“I do it to help people, people less fortunate than myself.”

In 2016, Jack graduated from National Citizen Service with Element Society. During the social action stage of the programme, Jack played a key part alongside 15 members of his group in establishing a project called “Access Sheffield” about improving disabled access within Sheffield.

The project, that was nominated for a National Award and featured as a part of NCS Action Day, was designed to help raise awareness of how difficult it can be for wheelchair users and disabled people to navigate a straight forward journey independently around the city.

You can see more about the project here:

As well as his NCS social action work, Jack has undertaken numerous challenges including walking over the Humber Bridge, sponsored runs and scaling Ben Nevis which took over 19 hours to complete.

He has also spoken about his experiences on NCS and the challenges he has faced and subsequently overcame in the House of Lords and House of Commons.

Mike Evans, Director of Operations, EFL Trust, said:

“We were delighted to hear the news about both Charlotte and Jack and are proud to have such strong individuals involved with the EFL Trust.

“At the EFL Trust, our vision is to create stronger, healthier and more active communities and our programmes are designed to deliver these outcomes.

“It is fantastic to see two people involved with our organisation in such different ways, honoured in this way and we congratulate them both.


Five new Club Community Organisations on board for second year of innovative Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered project

Women in Sport, in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, EFL Trust and the University of Newcastle (Australia), is excited to announce that five new Club Community Organisations (CCO’s) will be part of the ‘Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered’ project for the next two years in the UK.

Leyton Orient Trust, The Albion Foundation (West Bromwich Albion), Foundation of Light (Sunderland AFC), Middlesbrough FC Foundation and Stoke City Community Trust will join Fulham FC Foundation, who were part of the project’s inaugural pilot year. In total, six clubs will deliver the programme for the next two years, supported by Sport England’s Families Fund through National Lottery funding.

The ‘Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered’ programme has been developed by the University of Newcastle (Australia) and Professor Philip Morgan and his team.

The programme aims to increase physical activity levels, sports skills and social-emotional wellbeing of girls 5-11 years by challenging stereotypes about playing sport and physical activity and increase fathers’ confidence and ability to act as role models in relation to their daughter’s participation.

Eleven families took part in the project’s inaugural year, and the programme had a great impact on those that took part. Initial findings suggest:

  • Father and father-figures on the programme mentioned growing a stronger bond with their daughters and suggested they would increase the amount of family activity they do as a result of taking part.
  • All the girls that took part in the project showed a strong belief that girls are just as capable as boys at physical activity and should be able to enjoy the same opportunities, both individually and with their family.

Lee Warren, Innovation Manager for the DAD Project, said:

“We’re delighted to have five new clubs involved in this project for the next two years alongside continuing our partnership with Fulham who have built strong foundations. We’ve already started to see the impact that the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme can have on its participants and the long-term lifestyle changes that it can deliver. We’re looking forward to seeing these clubs support more families in their local communities to get active.”

  • Women in Sport and the project partners will explore these initial findings in greater depth with a larger sample size to understand any significant impact in year two and three.

Mike Diaper, Executive Director Children, Young People and Tackling Inactivity, at Sport England said;

“Following a successful first year of testing the Daughters and Dads programme, we are really pleased that our National Lottery investment can now help to extend its reach into new areas across England.   We know that we need to continue to do more to help girls and less affluent families get active, and one thing that hinders this are gender stereotypes that can cause families to believe that physical activity is less important for girls than boys. We also know that parents and carers often see their role as helpers and less as role models in encouraging their children to be active. This programme, based on a model from Australia, is addressing these challenges and we look forward to seeing the results of this in the North East, West Midlands and London.”

Mike Evans, Director of Operations, EFL Trust said:

“The EFL Trust are delighted that our Club Community Organisations are involved in this project, empowering young girls to be more confident and to begin to take the lead in encouraging their families to have a more active lifestyle. We are proud to have the opportunity to enable daughters and their fathers to spend more time together whilst developing positive and life changing habits.”

For more information on the Research and Advice Service and Women in Sport’s work visit