Today is ‘International Volunteers Day’ and this is the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate some of the amazing volunteering work that takes place in our network.
Stoke City Community Trust (SCCT) run their own volunteering programme that gives aspiring football coaches a pathway into their dream job. Volunteering is a win-win situation for all involved and the programme at SCCT is a great example of this.
Sam Cartwright, 23, a graduate of SCCT’S Premier League Kicks programme, has always had aspirations of becoming a coach and his dream came true in 2018 when SCCT offered him a place on their volunteering programme which enabled him to complete his Level 2 FA football coaching qualifications.
“Volunteering gave me a great amount of experience, to observe different coaches and use their wealth of coaching knowledge to further my professional development. It was also thoroughly rewarding being a part of a sport and a football club which I love and seeing all the good which the Community Trust does within the City.”
Sam continued to sing the praises of the coaches and volunteers programme at SCCT:
“For a place to begin my coaching journey, I couldn’t have picked a better one. I was thrown in at the deep end in terms of coaching, which did me the world of good and has helped me learn and develop so much as a coach and an individual. The amount of opportunities I’ve been presented with have been outstanding. There’s a great support network of staff at the Community Trust, from managers, to supervisors for the educational programmes, to fellow staff members, who will always lend an ear or help you when needed and support you as you grow as a coach. All this whilst working at a club I’ve supported since the age of 6 to make it that extra bit special. I owe so much to Stoke City Community Trust.”
Another success story from SCCT’s volunteering programme is Alex Gratty. As a big Stoke City fan he jumped at this opportunity and was delighted when his application was accepted. Alex signed up to the programme as he wanted to make a difference in his local community recognising that this would improve his own mental health and confidence at the same time.
Speaking of the opportunity Alex said:
“I honestly believe that without taking that first step to volunteer at the Community Trust, I would not have been in the position in life I am now where I am happy.
By becoming a volunteer at the Trust it made me more confident and gave me the firepower I needed to believe in myself and try new things. I also believe it enabled me to mature as an individual.”
Alex sent out a clear message to anyone that is interested in volunteering:
“Take the chance!”