Thousands of teenagers pledge to volunteer this summer

“We want young people to feel more confident and meet new people, as well as feel more connected with their community. ‘Keep Doing Good’ can offer this to them.”

Instead of struggling to know what to do with their spare time this summer, teenagers aged 15-17, will respond to the impact COVID-19 has had in their local area by volunteering thousands of hours, to help rebuild their local community with ‘Keep Doing Good’ from NCS (National Citizen Service).

Thousands of young people were due to go away this summer on NCS with the aim being to live independently, learn new skills, meet new people and volunteer, to make a positive impact in the community. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, the traditional NCS programme can’t go ahead and young people are instead pledging their time by signing up to ‘Keep Doing Good’.

The two-week programme takes place in August and will see young people volunteer over 16 hours each in their local community. In groups, they will plan and deliver a social action project, leaving a positive impact by supporting local food banks, care homes or helping local charities get back up running.

Whatever they decide to do, they will pick up news skills, create positive change and help rebuild their local community.

Tymoteusz Syrytczyk, 17, from Sheffield is an NCS Graduate and a member of EFL Trust’s Regional Youth Board has signed up to ‘Keep Doing Good’ in Sheffield and can’t wait to get involved:

“I loved being a part of NCS last year, so when I saw I could get involved again this summer I was excited to get on board. I’m looking forward to helping my community get back on its feet and using the skills I got from NCS last year to help me do this”.

‘Keep Doing Good’ will be delivered by EFL Trust and its network of local organisations that include Football Clubs, sport charities and youth organisations, all of whom have vast experience and passion to work with young people and give them an opportunity to make positive change.

Mike Evans, Chief Executive at EFL Trust said:

“We’re looking forward to engaging thousands of young people in ‘Keep Doing Good’ this summer. This alternative to NCS is a really exciting opportunity for young people to get involved with and play their part to make positive change in their community.

“Our network of over 60 delivery partners are eager to support young people and offer them an insightful and safe experience that will also help them develop as well as benefit the community.

“We want young people to feel more confident and meet new people, as well as feel more connected with their community. ‘Keep Doing Good’ can offer this to them.”

To find out more information about ‘Keep Doing Good’ or to register interest visit

North West Clubs awarded COVID-19 funding from Youth Endowment Fund

Blackpool FC Community Trust and Preston North End Community and Education Trust have each been awarded a grant from the Youth Endowment Fund to support young people at-risk of being drawn into violent crime through the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the support of a £41,000 grant, Blackpool FC Community Trust will be launching a new online adaption of the Trust’s ‘Tower Above’ crime prevention programme mentoring and education programme, to prevent vulnerable young people being drawn into violent crime. The move online will help the Trust continue its support of vulnerable young people while COVID-19 social distancing measures remain in place.

Jason White, Head of Community Programmes, said:

“Social distancing measures have meant we’ve had to put much of our face-to-face work with young people on-hold and look for alternative ways of supporting them. This funding will help us to strengthen and build our online mentoring and ensure young people can still access our help even if it’s difficult to physically meet.”

Preston North End’s project focuses on ‘Back on Track’, a 12 week initiative at providing weekly physical activity sessions complemented with interactive educational workshops centred around improving young people’s attitudes and behaviours towards criminal activity, lifestyle and careers. The sessions will run over the summer holidays and also into the first term of the new academic year as we help the targeted young people transition back into education.  

Tom Drake, Head of Community said:

“We are delighted that we have been successful in our application to the Youth Endowment Fund. Our new Back on Track programme will help provide some much needed support through both physical activity and educational based workshops for some of the most vulnerable young people in Preston throughout the summer holiday and as they transition back into education. The COVID period has been extremely challenging for young people, we are hoping the Back on Track programme provides some much needed ‘normality’ whilst also educating them on key life skills.”

The Youth Endowment Fund is an independent charitable trust set up by the Home Office. It funds, supports and evaluates projects in England and Wales which work to prevent children and young people from being drawn into violent crime.

Jon Yates, Executive Director at Youth Endowment Fund, said: “It has been too easy to forget vulnerable young people during this crisis. The pandemic has removed much of the critical support that many of them rely upon – from teachers to youth workers. This funding will help us find the best way to reach and support these young people when they most need it.”

“Football really does help pull communities together and COVID-19 has reaffirmed that EFL Trust Clubs have a huge responsibility to make a real difference.”

During COVID-19, Oxford United in the Community have focused on delivering health, fitness and well-being programmes to support those who have been impacted physically, mentally and financially by the pandemic.

Here are some key highlights:

Homework packs

Oxford United in the Community have been engaging with hundreds of youngsters during lockdown via homework packs. They created a special timetable of homework to support parents who are home schooling their children and to inspire youngsters. More than 500 children took part in the programme. The work was designed to encourage youngsters to think, remain healthy and active.

Daily Challenges

Hundreds of youngsters have taken part in daily challenges and shared their activities via video. The daily challenges were designed to support youngsters during lock down to remain fit and active.


Members of the Oxford United in the Community team joined the Club in helping to distribute over 10,000 face masks to help fans and key workers. Club Manager Karl Robinson also volunteered to pack and despatch masks which were sent to the NHS, local charities, the city and county councils. Additionally, 2,000 masks were sent by post to season ticket holders aged over 55 and some higher risk supporters.

Horrid Henry

Oxford United in the Community teamed up with animated TV star Horrid Henry to help share home-based activity programmes with thousands of families. The collaboration has seen youngsters receive homework packs via Henry Unlocked, a regular lock down podcast.

2.6 Challenge

More than £1,000 was raised via the 2.6 Challenge to help your charity do more in your community. The 2.6 Challenge saw United fans, youngsters on Oxford United in the Community programmes and some Patrons and Trustees take part.

Chris Lowes, Head of Oxford United in the community said:

“We appreciate many people in our community have been impacted in various ways by COVID-19, physically, mentally and financially. As the Club’s charity we have remained committed to supporting as many people as we can throughout the on-going pandemic.

“It has been challenging but we have managed to readjust and deliver some really positive impact. We have focused on delivering health, fitness and well-being programmes designed to keep people active and promote healthy bodies and minds. We have also directly helped with other COVID-19 related activities within the community, including delivering Oxford United face masks to care homes.

“Football really does help pull the communities together and COVID-19 has reaffirmed that EFL Trust Club Community Organisations have a huge responsibility to make a real difference and there have been so many uplifting stories from across the EFL network.

“Oxford United reaching Wembley has given our community an additional big lift at this challenging time and it is another opportunity for the charity to create further ways to engage with people.”

Wycombe Wanderers continue to help community Keep Moving Forward

For the past 14 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust (WWSET) have supported hundreds of people with their mental health by adapting their Keep Moving Forward project.

The project, which supports people facing mental health difficulties, has been adapted from face-to-face sessions to conducting online sessions in Indian Clubs (a form of physical exercise) and yoga, as well as weekly online mindfulness sessions in partnership with Bucks Mind.

In addition, the Trust have also been making contact with each and every one of their members weekly to provide a listening ear, ease any worries and provide coping strategies that members can practice and adopt throughout the week and beyond.

The sessions have enabled people to keep connected and provide a sense of routine and normality, as well as much needed support during the COVID-19 crisis.

Sam White, Head of Health at Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust said:

“Lockdown has been an uncertain and distressing time for all of us. However, for those already living with mental health problems it’s been an even tougher road than normal due to the fact many normal coping mechanisms have been taken away and services stretched.

“It’s for this reason that when the lockdown came into place WWSET knew we had to adapt our normal sessions quickly in order to support our community. We immediately had to stop our physical sessions and quickly learn how to adapt to online versions of two of our courses; Indian Clubs and Yoga, which was challenging.

“WWSET also began providing targeted 1-2-1 calls each week to provide support and advice to those most in need. This has been a really difficult time for a lot of our members however I genuinely feel our method of support has helped people to feel connected.

“We have been fortunate to run an additional two short courses (mindfulness and cooking for one) during this time, and are looking forward to gradually getting back to more face to face interactions.”

Here is what a few members had to say about Keep Moving Forward sessions:

“Having a call with Sam and text exchanges has helped me to feel less isolated during the lockdown -especially living alone. “

“Indian Clubs was an important part of my weekly structure pre-lockdown and I was so relieved that this has been able to continue via Zoom. I enjoy the different exercises and feel like it’s helping my body get stronger and my mind keep active. Plus, it’s lovely seeing everyone and Sam’s friendly energy and encouragement makes all the difference.”

“Being in isolation is tough but being connected to the group via the virtual yoga is a godsend. After the session you feel invigorated but calm and relaxed. It’s the highlight of the week.”

“Speaking to Sam helped me by keeping me positive. It’s good to talk, but also her calming positive attitude helped focus on being in the present. Knowing that they are always available to talk to is so important for my wellbeing”

18 Year Old Katie Helps Support 70 Vulnerable Households

“Everyone should come together in times of need and work together as a team.” says Katie McDougall who has been volunteering with Preston North End ‘Helping Hampers’ Campaign, she continues, “As a young person, I’ve got lots of time on my hands and if I can volunteer my services, I will. If I can help others, put a smile on their face and get them through this hardship, then obviously it makes me feel good as well!”   

Katie, aged 18, joined Preston North End Community and Education Trust (PNECET) to volunteer for their ‘Helping Hampers’ Campaign. The campaign supports the most vulnerable people in the community of Preston with hampers of essential food and provisions.  So far she has helped provide 70 vulnerable household with essential provision to help get them through this difficult period.

Katie first came in to contact PNECET when she did NCS in 2019 and that is how she found out about the opportunity to volunteer for the ‘Helping Hampers’ campaign. NCS is a youth programme designed for 16-17 year olds that runs every summer and autumn. The experience is all about empowering young people, to help develop their skills that will set them up for life after school. On NCS, participants live away from home and get a taste of independence as well as positively impacting their local community through a social action project.

Katie said: I heard about this [PNECET Helping Hampers] because I’ve taken part in NCS. My family are quite involved with Preston [North End], follow them on Facebook, and saw that the Community and Education Trust are doing this really good scheme making hampers for vulnerable people.”

Katie is a student at Newman College and should have been doing her exams. Instead, she’s at home still studying but with plenty of time on her hands and so volunteered a few hours each week to help put together over 70 hampers together for vulnerable people within Preston.

Christine Latus is Preston North End season ticket holder and was a recipient of a PNECET Helping Hamper, she said;

“It’s absolutely wonderful, it’s a real surprise – I didn’t expect anything like this at all, but it’s really helpful and it’s lovely to think that the club are thinking about the supporters in these strange times. We obviously can’t go to matches or anything, so it’s really, really kind, I really appreciate it.”

NCS have recently launched ‘Keep Doing Good’ to help young people take an active role in the recovery of the country after COVID-19.

As part of Katie’s time on NCS she delivered a social action project that had a positive impact on the community. After her volunteering with PNECET Katie is keen to do more volunteering to support the community.

Katie said “It’s been great to help out and support the local community of Preston. I want to continue doing that and look forward to volunteering more in the community. I would encourage other young people my age to take up volunteering, it’s really rewarding and a good use of time”

Preston North End Community and Education Trust Community Partnerships Manager Rebecca Robertson said: “Katie has been a valued volunteer on our PNECET Helping Hampers campaign. She has spent time in our offices at Deepdale helping with making the boxes for our hampers and packing them with food, toiletries and other engaging materials for the vulnerable members of our community.

“It has been great to see one of our NCS graduates getting involved with our community initiatives during this difficult time and we’re looking forward to working with Katie more on the NCS Keep Doing Good project, as we’re sure she can continue making a real impact in our community!”

If you are 15-17 and want to support your local community volunteering then sign up to ‘Keep Doing Good’ and help get your local community back on its feet after. 

“We’re really pleased Colchester United FITC staff have volunteered to befriend our residents. It’s been a lifeline for lots of them.”