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 communities and a key driver to engage audiences that would not normally engages. NCS is inclusive for all young people and football helps us engage all parts of the community.  

NCS is a key projects 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: www.wearencs.com.

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 Packzo, 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vStXWmTOolI

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 www.womeninsport.org.

EFL Trust are helping 10,000 fans tackle their weight

The EFL Trust are helping fans to tackle their weight, get healthier and be happier by joining FIT FANS, a free 12 week programme, launching in January 2020 at 30 Clubs in England.

The EFL Trust’s FIT FANS programme will be supported by over £2.25 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England and will aim to use the magnetism of football to tackle obesity levels in over 10,000 fans across the UK.

36.4 million people (61.4% of England’s population) live within 10 miles of an EFL ground, with four in 10 residents within this catchment area falling into the most-deprived population groups.

Sport England has identified lower physical activity participation rates among people living on low incomes and that is why they have joined forces with the EFL Trust network to help people create a long-term healthy and active lifestyle.  FIT FANS is one of a number of initiatives to tackle lower physical activity participation rates among people living on low incomes, which is one of Sport England’s key priorities.

FIT FANS is the operating name in England and Wales for Football Fans in Training, which was created in a Scotland by the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Professional Football League Trust.

The programme shows individuals how to:

  • Improve their eating habits by reducing portion sizes and swapping fatty and sugary foods for fruit, vegetables and high fibre foods
  • Achieve at least 45 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. They receive weekly exercise sessions at their club for 12 weeks, and follow a personal pedometer based walking programme that encourages them to fit physical activity into their daily lives
  • Use tried-and-tested behaviour change techniques to become more active and improve their diet. These include regular self-monitoring of their weight and pedometer step counts and setting SMART goals to make changes that can be sustained long term.

The 12 week programme gives fans unprecedented access to their Club and a look behind the scenes.

In 2011/12, a large scale randomised, controlled trial study showed that 12 months after the programme, men had lost an average of 5% of their starting weight by making gradual practical changes to their physical activity and diet, that they could keep up in their everyday lives.

Mike Evans, Director of Operations, EFL Trust said:

“FIT FANS is an example of our potential to make a really significant contribution to the health of our communities.  We are excited by the prospect of rolling the programme our across out network and reaching many thousands of men and women.”

Patrick Brosnan, Sport England’s Football Lead said:

“We are delighted to see the success FIT FANS has had in its pilot phase at 5 EFL clubs in England and hope that the National Lottery funding to EFL Trust will go a long way in harnessing football fans’ love for the game to support more people to lead healthy and active lives.”

Nicky Reid, Chief Executive, SPFL Trust comments:

“We are delighted to have reached agreement with the EFL Trust to bring Football Fans in Training to clubs right across the EFL. The programme – which was developed in Scotland – has been life changing for thousands of men and women, in both the short and long-term. I am sure that thousands of football fans are going to love being part of the programme, and are going to reap enormous rewards by being healthier and happier.”

To find out more or sign up to FIT FANS visit: https://www.efltrust.com/fitfans/

Foxton Centre users welcomed to EFL House this Christmas

The English Football League opened its doors and welcomed members of the local community to EFL House today.

A number of adults and young people who use the Foxton Centre, a Preston-based charity which provides support, safety and resources for homeless and vulnerable people in the city, attended a Christmas meal hosted by the EFL.

Earlier this year it was revealed that rough sleeping across Lancashire has risen by 53% in the last twelve months and the Foxton Centre provides a number of services in Preston, including a community café, work experience and volunteering programmes and identify rough sleepers through their outreach work.

By holding the event, the EFL hopes to raise awareness of the important services the Foxton Centre offers and give back to those less fortunate at this time of year.

EFL staff were also joined by Preston North End striker Louis Moult and a number of academy players and staff from the Sky Bet Championship Club at the event.

Preston North End are a huge supporter of the Foxton Centre and last month, hosted the Big PNE Sleep Out with over 300 participants of the event, raising over £57,000 to date. The money raised will be used to buy and renovate a house in Preston which will provide shelter and accommodation for homeless people in Preston.

Mark Rowan, Communications Director at the EFL said, “The EFL is proud to be working with The Foxton Centre this year and welcome those across the city that use their services to EFL house.

“We realise that Christmas is a difficult time for many people across the city but by holding this event we hope the organisation has been able to make even a small difference to some people’s lives this year and raise awareness of the great work the Foxton Centre does here in Preston.

“We’d like to thank the Foxton Centre, Preston North End, Crave catering and Redline for working with us to make this event happen.”

Tom Drake, Head of Community at Preston North End Community and Education Trust, said, “Preston North End and Preston North End Community and Education Trust pride ourselves on being at the very heart of Preston’s community.

“As a club and a Trust, we are extremely proud of the partnership we have forged with The Foxton Centre over the last two years.

“The Big PNE Sleep Out is one of our highlights for 2019. To see over 300 proud Prestonians do their bit for some of Preston’s most vulnerable, is a testament to the great people of this City. I look forward to seeing what great things the club, Trust and The Foxton Centre can achieve in 2020.”

 

Stags duo bring festive gifts to young supporters

 

Mansfield Town wingers CJ Hamilton and Otis Khan brought some festive cheer to youngsters from across the district last night, attending the annual SSA Christmas Party.

The duo visited youngsters Jango’s Indoor Play Centre and completed a special mission set by Santa, to deliver festive chocolates for youngsters to enjoy when they met the man in the red suit in his special Grotto.

“We know how special it is for kids at Christmas, they love any little surprises and stuff like that – it’s always nice to give back to the Community at these times, especially when the kids always come to the games – it’s nice to see them and put a smile on their face.” Said, Hamilton.

Fellow winger Khan added: “We brought down some chocolates for the kids, all of the kids like that at Christmas so we thought we’d surprise them. It’s nice to put a smile on the kids’ faces.

Kids get excited for Christmas, they look forward to it all year round and when they come to parties like this they see their friends and everybody gets excited together. They get to meet Santa, it’s just a great time for everyone.”

 

The SSA Christmas Party is funded thanks to the donations and support of Stags Supporters Association members and is one of three parties funded by the organisation throughout the season, all are available FREE to Junior Members – working in partnership with Football in the Community to get young fans to engage and enjoy Football.

Junior SSA Members can enjoy a range of benefits throughout the season, including discount on Football in the Community’s match-day clubs, the next one being this coming Saturday as Graham Coughlan takes charge of the Stags for the first time. Youngsters aged 5 to 15 can enjoy two hours playing football on the 3G Pitches in mini-tournaments, before watching the big match with Football in the Community. Junior members can attend for just £12, non-members are charged £17 which includes the match.

Another benefit of being a Junior Member is discount on Football in the Community’s popular holiday clubs, with the next one being on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd January at the One Call Stadium, 10am to 2pm. Junior SSA Members can attend both days for just £18, or one day for £10 – non-members are charged £12 per day and activities include multi-sport games, coaching activities and tournament style football. To book, visit http://www.tinyurl.com/FITCJAN20

Speaking of Football in the Community’s activities and the partnership with the SSA, winger Hamilton added: “It’s really good, it gets them to do different activities, keeping them fit and getting them out and about playing with others – it creates a really good atmosphere.”

Mansfield Town Football in the Community would like to thank CJ and Otis for attending, the SSA for their continued support, and all the parents and participants who make every day extra special.

DSActive Football Festivals

During the 2019-2020 season, DSActive will  run three regional Football Festivals, in the South East, South West and the North. The festivals are aimed at players with Down’s syndrome, whatever their abilities. The aim of the day is for the players to have fun and play matches against other clubs.

Recently, on the 16th November, the South East Football Festival 2019 took place at the Charlton AFC training ground.

We welcomed nine teams to the event and played over eighteen 6-aside matches. For many of the players, it was the first they’d had the opportunity to compete in a match.

Sam, talking about his niece Alan who took part in the festival, said:

“Alan had the best time on Saturday. He was so happy and kept hugging me and saying thank you! He never plays that much football.”

Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) have been supporting the DSActive programme and running sessions for people with Down’s syndrome for over 10 years and everyone feels very welcome at the club.

Charlton Upbeats, a self-funded programme run by CACT for children and adults with Down’s syndrome, has become a firm favourite with Charlton fans.

The Charlton Upbeats players play matches regularly and enjoy trips away with the team.

Terry, Head Coach of Charlton Upbeats, said:

“Personally, I’ve worked on the Charlton Upbeats project for over 10 years now and it is by far the most attached I have ever been to a project.

“We run over 30 in our department alone, that’s purely because it’s like a small family network and we have grown close to not only the players, but parents and carers as well.

“We have seen the Charlton Upbeats lads develop in confidence as players and people and hope that the weekly session over all these years has helped to contribute to that.

“You get to know the families quite well over that space of time and the staff aren’t looked at as Charlton coaches but more as friends.”

To check out the South East Football Festival, Charlton AFC have produced a video of the day which you can watch here.

Upcoming Regional Festivals – open to all players with Down’s syndrome, with or without a club

  • South West, Swindon (14th March 2020)
  • North, Manchester (22nd February 2020)

To find a DSActive football session, please feel free to contact the DSActive Team on on email (dsactive@downs-syndrome.org.uk) or by telephone on 0333 1212 300.

Mind launch ‘Have Your Mate’s Back’ campaign

The EFL and Mind are now into a second season of a ground-breaking charity partnership which uses the power of football to help improve the nation’s mental health and wellbeing. 

With one in four individuals affected by mental health problems, the partnership focuses on the following areas:

  • Raising awareness of mental health amongst fans and wider public
  • Helping to improve the approach to mental health in football working with partners including the PFA
  • Raising funds to deliver life changing national and local support

One of the many ways that the partnership raises awareness of mental health is through Mind’s logo featuring on all EFL shirts for the 18/19 and 19/20 seasons. The design incorporates the logo into the player’s name on the back of every EFL shirt in the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two. This is the first time that a charity’s logo has been incorporated into the shirt design in English football.

In addition, the EFL is working with its network of Clubs and community trusts to promote Mind’s message of better mental health and its services to millions nationwide. The latest campaign asks fans to ‘Have Your Mate’s Back’, by noticing if friends are acting differently, giving them a call or dropping them a text asking if they are ok. Mind and the EFL are encouraging players, fans and all in the football community to get behind the campaign by wearing their shirt backwards, displaying the Mind logo, and taking photos to share on social media.

Watch the campaign video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iOwy4mulaE&feature=youtu.be

Mind is also working closely with the EFL to ensure Clubs and Community Trusts have programmes in place to support the wellbeing of both staff and volunteers that can be put into practice throughout the footballing calendar.

For more information about the services and support Mind can help with, please visit: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/