Bluebirds star Sol Bamba and Cardiff City FC inspire school children with a little help from Roald Dahl

Sol Bamba joined the Cardiff City FC Foundation, the official charity of Cardiff City Football Club, as they celebrated Roald Dahl Day at Herbert Thompson Primary School.

Roald Dahl Day is an annual event that celebrates the worlds, characters and stories of the Welsh novelist, with Matilda at the heart of this year’s celebrations.

Pupils from Year 4 enjoyed learning about the Cardiff born novelist and the fun character that is Matilda, who could move things with her mind.

The session aimed to improve children’s confidence in reading and develop their creative writing skills.

Children were asked to write about what their superpower would be, inspiring creative writing. If reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda wasn’t enough inspiration, Bluebird defender Sol Bamba shared what his superpower would be and engaged with the children, helping to spark their creative minds.

This was not the first time fan favourite Bamba’s had visited Herbert Thompson as the defender regularly attends community events, using his presence and the power of the Cardiff City badge to change lives.

Sol Bamba said: “A good education is so important and I think the badge can engage youngsters, especially those who are Cardiff City fans.

“If I can be a role model and inspire them to work hard at school, then it’ll be my honour.“

Tobi, a Year 4 pupil from Herbert Thompson Primary School, said: “My superpower is being positive and being able to get through tough times. I look up to inspirational people like Sol Bamba and realise that I want to be like them someday.

“It’s been a really good experience and has helped us with our confidence. Sol Bamba is a really inspirational person to us.”

The visit was organised as part of the Premier League Primary Stars project, which uses the appeal of Cardiff City FC to inspire all children to learn, be active and develop important life skills.

The Bluebirds Charity recently celebrated 10 years of changing lives, during which time it has invested over £10 million in sport and education programmes across South Wales.

EFL Trust National Conference 2019

EFL Football Club Community Organisations (CCOs) from across the country came together at St George’s Park as the EFL Trust’s new five year strategy was launched and a £2.25m investment into the network was announced by Sport England.

The EFL Trust National Conference is an opportunity for the network of CCOs to hear inspirational speakers, discuss key opportunities and share best practice, enabling them to continue to positively benefit the lives of more people in their communities.

This year, the National Conference played host to the launch of the EFL Trust Strategy for the next five years and focused on the importance of partnerships with key organisations to deliver the organisation’s vision of ‘Stronger, Healthier, More Active Communities.’

Hosting the Conference this year were two amazing young people who themselves are testament to EFL Trust’s biggest project, NCS.  Jasmin Devine-Runkee and Dominic Hartley are both NCS graduates from EFL Trust’s network. NCS develops life skills and helps the integration of 16-17 years olds into their community. Both young adults are a shining example of the skills and confidence gained from being part of NCS.

NCS graduates Dominic and Jasmin who hosted the event.

Don Goodman spoke with passion about the significant impact of CCOs on their communities and said that the growth in the numbers of people benefiting across the country was staggering.

During the Conference, delegates heard from key speakers from Department of Work and Pensions, NHS and Sport England.

In his address today, Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England announced his organisation’s intention to invest in the EFL Trust network’s ability to reach one of their key audiences.

The investment of over £2.25 million, of National Lottery funding, will aim to reach around 10,000 inactive men and women on low incomes.

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive, Sport England

Partnership with the EFL Trust network due to the unique position of Football Clubs in their local communities was a constant theme throughout the two days.

Dave Barrow, Group Director, Work in Health Service, DWP, commented that the EFL Trust brings some really innovative approaches to getting people into employment and that the partnership with the EFL Trust to date has been a major success.

Similarly James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care, NHS, referenced the power of CCOs and how they can add value to the health and wellbeing of individuals in EFL Communities. He is very positive about the opportunity for more CCOs to connect with people, share messages about healthy living and enable people to access more physical activity.

James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care, NHS

The CCOs heard from Clare Martin from EFL’s Community Club of the Year 2019, Portsmouth, who linked their successful strategy to the key themes of passion, people and continuous improvement. Clare also reflected on the vital importance of partnerships both locally and nationally.

Caroline Dakin, of CD Associates, delivered a fantastic interactive session for the CCOs around the importance of building personal resilience and resilience in teams in the bid to be successful in challenging times.

Finally, Miriam Jordan Keane, NCS Trust, took to the stage to speak about the power of the EFL Trust network and its successful delivery since 2011, the growth plan for the reinvigorated NCS brand and the future potential of the Trust’s delivery.

EFL Trust would like the thank all the the organisations from outside our network, who attended to deliver information or workshops to our network including DWP, Job Centre Plus, NHS, ICSA, M&C Saatchi, Anthem Engagement, Mind, AoC, University of South Wales and Sports Directory.

The EFL Trust now look forward to the next five years as we strive to achieve our vision of stronger, more active communities.

You can find out more about the 2019-2024 EFL Trust Strategy by clicking here.

You vs Train message teaches over 700 teenagers about train safety

Over the summer Derby County Community Trust have delivered the You vs Train message to over 700 teenagers on their NCS programme. The campaign has seen Network Rail join forces with the EFL Trust to promote crucial messages around key dangers that are present on the railway.

NCS is a four week summer programme which prepares 16 and 17 year olds leaving school for the next stage of their lives.

Derby has been identified as a hot-spot where rail-related accidents and deaths are above the national average. The You Vs Train campaign aims to teach 11-18 year olds about the hidden dangers of the railway, including the electrified third rail, overhead lines and facts about trains themselves where dangers might be unclear.

Each of the eight waves of our NCS programme have taken part in a You vs Train workshop during Phase 2 of their four week project and learnt about the important safety messages that the campaign is emphasising.

Sessions have included interactive quizzes, poster presentations and inter-group competitions. All participants have reported learning at least one new fact about the railway that they were unaware of, and have spread the message to friends and family.

Simon Doherty, NCS Manager at Derby County Community Trust, said, “NCS is all about ensuring young people leaving school are prepared for the world around them as they move into further education, apprenticeships or careers.

“The You vs Train campaign has highlighted a key message that our teenagers need to know and we are pleased to have been able to help Network Rail and the EFL Trust in getting this information out there.”

The Pond Protectors: 12 teens from Barnsley contribute 400 hours to transform local pond

12 Teens from Barnsley rolled up their sleeves contributing 400 hours to transform a local pond to make it sustainable for wildlife and an attractive space for local people to enjoy.

The group, who call themselves ‘The Pond Protectors’, only met 3 weeks ago after spending part of their Summer on NCS (National Citizen Service), a youth programme for teenagers aged 15-17.

As part of their time on NCS, the group planned and delivered a social action project in their local town. The group found that they had a shared passion for improving the local environment and so contacted South Area Tidy Team to support a project that they run.

This is where the team name ‘The Pond Protectors’ was born as the group made the decision to clear up Milton Top Pond. Harvey Kitchen,16, a member of The Pond Protectors said;

“”Our group is passionate about the environment because we all care about wildlife hence why we wanted to support Tidy Team and clear a pond which prior to us helping was driving wildlife out of their habitats”

400 hours of volunteering was spent strimming the banks and clearing the area of weeds and brambles to eventually fill a truck of garden waste. Finally, with the money they raised through bag packing at their local supermarket they bought houses to support the local wildlife.

‘The Pond Protectors’ group was made of teenagers from different schools in Barnsley which included; Horizon Community College, Penistone Grammar School, Barnsley Academy and also Dearne ALC. Harvey went onto say;

“It was very easy to make friends with each other and to talk to everyone in the group, we all got along and our teamwork was outstanding!”

“NCS was such a fun experience because amazing activities that we did during each week like raft building, self-defence training and raising money for our social action project.

“Alongside that, NCS helped me break out of my shell more, be more outgoing and made new friends on the way. NCS has taught me a lot about the community I live in as well develop my skills like public speaking.”  

Martyn Hall, Team Supervisor, from the South Area Tidy Team is delighted with the impact The Pond Protectors have made in just a week:

“The fantastic improvement these young people have made is here for all to see.  We’ve had numerous residents contacting us to make their appreciation known.

“The support from the local residents both with time and contributions will continue to help all involved to make this an enjoyable space for ALL for the future. 

“We very much hope to carry the momentum by getting people of all ages and abilities to continue to care for this wonderful space”.

Over 2,000 teenagers in South Yorkshire have taken part in NCS this Summer to challenge themselves, meet new people and to give back to their local community. For more information visit www.NCSYES.co.uk

Wigan Athletic players Chey Dunkley and Sam Morsy attend Fit and Fed session

Wigan Athletic first team stars Samy Morsy and Chey Dunkley attended the Fit and Fed initiative at Dorset Road Community Centre in Atherton on Monday afternoon.

Both players took part in games of dodgeball and arts and crafts, colouring in the Latics logo whilst also signing programmes for the children.

Over 40 children attended the session, gave each child the opportunity to take part in football, dance sessions, arts and crafts and they also completed the Daily Mile – a project that gets children walking, running or jogging for 15 minutes a day.

Fit and Fed is funded by Wigan Council and supported by Wigan Athletic Community Trust across the Wigan Borough. Fit and Fed provides a safe space for young people to get involved in lots of physical activities, make new friends whilst having a free lunch provided.

Cllr Keith Cunliffe, Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead for Adult Social Care, said: “Fit and Fed is a great project, part of it was brought about because of the difficulties people are in now. A lot of children get free school meals in this area, there is a lot of single parents, people on low pay so the free school meal is probably the only nutritious meal some children get.

“It’s a project that was aimed at ensuring that all the children in this area have the opportunity to have a meal everyday whilst the school holidays are on, whilst tying that into some activity to ensure the children are active, physically healthy and promoting the physical health as well.

“Wigan Athletic Community Trust has been a great partner for us, not only for this project but many other projects that go on in this borough around maintaining people’s health and wellbeing. So seeing Wigan Athletic getting involved in Fit and Fed is great because the children enjoy seeing the professional footballers and naturally them coming out is a great stimulus and motivation for the kids.”

Over the past two years Fit and Fed has delivered over 1,000 hours’ worth of activities and provided over 10,000 lunches & 1,800 snacks to over 1,000 children and young people.

The Trust’s involvement in Fit and Fed over the summer will see them work with around 250 children at 10 different venues across the borough.

Latics captain, Morsy, explained:

“It was a brilliant session and we had a really good time; playing dodgeball and doing some arts and crafts – which I am used to as I do that with my daughter. It was great to see so many children, how happy they were and how vibrant too.

“It is a safe environment where they can play and build their confidence and interact with others and get a meal.

“It is shocking that families can’t afford a meal in the current climate and it is sad to see.

“The children can come to these sessions and have a great time and are really happy, which is great to see.”

Brian Seddon, a volunteer at Dorset Road Community Centre, who has been involved with Fit and Fed since it began said: “We run these camps where we provide activities for the children plus we can feed them and make sure over the long summer holiday they are fit and fed and ready for school when the time comes.

“We have a constant membership of children wanting to come, it is growing and the feedback we get from the parents and children is fantastic, because there is a need.

“It is not the fault of the families or children; it’s just how the circumstances are for those families. So any help we can give, we can make sure they are getting at least one healthy meal a day along with the activities to improve their health too.”

For any queries or questions regarding Fit and Fed then please contact your local start well at Atherton, Ince, Platt Bridge, Westfield and Westleigh by clicking here.

 

 

Bristol City Robins Foundation host You Vs Train event to raise awareness about the dangers of the railway

As part of the You Vs Train campaign, Bristol City Robins Foundation brought young people from some of the most deprived areas of the city together to learn about the hidden dangers posed by the railway.

Each year hundreds of young people take on the railway and lose. Research conducted by the British Transport police found that young audiences all too frequently do not consider the railway dangerous and recent years have seen a steep increase in the number of serious injuries amongst young people caused by trespassing on the railway.

The dangers posed by the railway are not always clear, and if you are not hit by an unexpected train you could be hit by the lethal current in the rails and power lines.

The youngsters travelled by rail from various locations around the city into Bristol’s main Temple Meads train station where they met the British Transport Police, Network Rail’s local Community Safety Manager and Bristol City first team player Sammie Szmodics to take part in a rail safety workshop session. They heard about the dangers posed by the railway and the enormous emotional and physical consequences these dangers can have.

Speaking about the rail safety workshop session, Sammie said: “We saw videos of some real life footage of kids thinking it’s funny to cross the tracks and graffiti in tunnels when trains are about.

“The bottom line is it’s a very dangerous place and young people need to know that.”

After the workshop, the young people travelled again by rail to Bedminster where they took part in a small football tournament played on a pitch next to the railway, serving as a reminder of the ever-present danger posed by the railway.

Dan White, CEO at Bristol City Robins Foundation, said, “Football is loved by many, especially these young people.

“To use football as a tool to share this message about rail safety and the You Vs Train campaign is really important.

“If it makes a difference to one person who thinks again about crossing the line, then that’s a real positive outcome for us.”

Director of Operations at The EFL Trust, Mike Evans, said: “Bringing about positive change in the community is at the very core of The EFL Trust’s values.

“Football can be an enormous force for good and have a profoundly positive impact on communities – so we are delighted to be helping to tackle this issue in areas where young people are particularly vulnerable.”

Research shows that there are spikes in the number of trespass incidents at key times throughout the year – one of which is across the summer holidays – and that trespassing is a persistent issue amongst boys aged 11 – 18 years old. The You Vs Train initiative aims to tackle this problem by raising awareness of the dangers of trespassing and changing attitudes towards it, which will in turn reduce the likelihood of future trespassing.

For more information about You Vs Train please click here.

Louie: “NCS made me who I am today”

“They were the worst two years of my life. I was shy, nervous and wouldn’t talk to people,” says Louie Salmon, 16, from Peterborough.

However, fast-forward two years after completing NCS (National Citizen Service), Louie is a very different person – he now has the confidence to stand in front of peers and tell his story whilst also securing a job with his local football team.

Months before Louie was due to depart for NCS, he had reservations about going because of time away from home and nerves about meeting new people. On a bad day, Louie would email Peterborough United Foundation (the local provider of NCS) to explain that he wasn’t feeling up to it, but this was all about to change.

On 2nd July 2018, Louie found his seat on the bus to start his first week on NCS and never looked back.

Louie said: “I had begun to think I was a lost cause and that nothing I did would help me get better. Luckily, I was wrong! I pushed through exam season and I did it! I went on the programme and it was the best thing I ever did.”

Whilst on NCS, Louie began to feel his confidence grow more and more as he went on and found himself more involved in the group. In his second week, he was feeling much more comfortable with himself and puts that down the people he met and, ultimately, NCS.

After completing the programme, Louie has gone on to get himself a role on NCS with Peterborough United sharing his experience with others that were in his shoes.

Jenna Lusk, NCS Manager at Peterborough United reflected on Louie journey on NCS and beyond, saying: “NCS programme was a great experience for Louie. As staff, we noticed a difference in his confidence. He came on the programme quite quiet and shy to becoming a confident and positive young man.

“His increased confidence made him an excellent project leader on programme. Louie has continued his work with NCS as a graduate and has since gained a job. He helps NCS as well by talking about his experiences in front of other young people at events.”

Louie added: “I believe that’s it’s not just NCS, but it’s the people who organised and participated in the programme is the reason why I’m studying for 3 A-levels today. The biggest regret you will have is not saying yes.”

Throughout this summer, thousands of teenagers across the country will be taking part in NCS. This unique experience offers teenagers a jam-packed and fulfilling summer, by taking part in various activities together such as rock-climbing and kayaking, learning to cook and how to budget, and volunteering in their communities.

To find out more information visit NCSYES.CO.UK.

QPR prepare for Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium launch

Aside from the natural excitement that comes with the first home match of the season at QPR this weekend against Huddersfield Town, there will be added emotion as tomorrow will see the official launch of Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium following the stadium rename in June.

Kiyan Prince, who was a member of QPR’s youth academy, was stabbed to death in May 2006 when he was 15 years old.

Loftus Road has been remamed the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium after a charity which educates young people about the consequences of knife crime.

There will be a number of activities which will be taking place to mark what is sure to be a very special and emotional day. Participants from Kiyan Prince Foundation will form the Guard of Honour for the players and there will be a minute’s silence as we remember Kiyan Prince and all the innocent people who have needlessly lost their lives to knife and gun crime on our streets.

To learn more about the Kiyan Prince Foundation click here.

Teens tackle environmental issue ‘tail’ on

  • 15 Teenagers taking part in NCS in Hull build a whale sculpture to raise awareness of plastic waste
  • The group collect 40 bags of litter in Hull area
  • Sculpture to feature outside sports facility to have lasting legacy
  • The group in talks with local council to permanently feature sculpture on roundabout
  • Over 1,000 teens in Hull & East Riding take part in NCS with EFL Trust

15 teens from Hull have built a giant sculpture of a whale tail to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Each year over 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean. This has motivated a group of teens to raise awareness and reduce plastic waste in Hull in a unique way that will leave a long lasting legacy.

This group of teens who have taken part in NCS (National Citizen Service) this summer concluded their experience by delivering a Social Action Project driven by a passion for their local environment.

They were ambitious with only one week to deliver this project. To build the sculpture they raised over £250 with a bake sale and funding page as well as set up bottle collections in their schools which would form part of the sculpture.

The group were keen on emphasising the issues of plastic waste with the sculpture showing a tail diving into a blue box full of more plastic, highlighting the issues of plastic waste in our oceans.

Eric Kotas a member of the group said:

“I have a huge passion for the environment, especially in reducing plastic waste as it is a huge problem right now all over the world.

“My biggest achievement is the social action project where we created a sculpture of a whale’s tail whilst raising awareness about plastic, which is really important to me.

“I feel we have made a large impact on the community and hope it will bring change.”

The sculpture will feature outside of Tigers Trust’s Arena in Hull. The group hope that children & adults that attend sport sessions will leave their plastic bottle in the sculpture, acting as a collection point.

The group are in talks with the council for it to permanently feature on a roundabout and to leave a legacy for their campaign.

In addition the team were keen to have an active involvement in their local community and within a day they collected 40 full bags of litter in Newland Avenue area.

Anna Blake, NCS Team leader at Tigers Trust said:

“I think that this project is very different in comparison to what NCS groups tend to steer towards.

“At a time where people are becoming more environmentally conscious, this group of young people have taken action.

“Each member of the team has gone well above what is expected and the results have been amazing.

“Their project will hopefully feature as a lasting legacy in Hull and make steps to reducing plastic wastage. I am extremely proud of what they have achieved.”

NCS is national youth programme that challenges young people, allows them to meet new people and try something new.

Through EFL Trust over 1,000 teenagers in in Hull and East Riding have taken part in NCS this Summer to challenge themselves, meet new people and to give back to their local. For more information visit www.NCSYES.co.uk.

Wigan players Joe Garner and Danny Fox visit summer soccer school and dance camps

First team players Joe Garner and Danny Fox made guest appearances at Standish High School Soccer Schools and Dance Camps.

The Latics pair took part in both the soccer school and dance camps ran by Community Trust staff, which included small sided football games and a dance off, with both players being taught new dance moves by the camp.

Defender Danny Fox said: “It was good, playing on the football pitch with some of the young lads who were really enthusiastic and there were some good players as well.

“I think the girls [on the dance camp] said they had half an hour to practice their routine, but they had a smile on their faces and it was good to see so many kids enjoying themselves.

 “It’s important the kids stay entertained throughout the summer especially with parents still working so to put things on like this, hopefully we can progress and put even more soccer schools and dance camps on. To see so many kids as well it’s a bonus as well.

“It’s good for Wigan as a whole and good for the kids to have something like this to do over the summer holidays instead of being cooped up indoors and doing some physical activity as well which is always good for young kids.”

Both the Soccer Schools and Dance Camps are running throughout the summer for boys and girls aged 6-14 in the Wigan borough at six different locations including Lowton High School, Winstanley Warriors, Pennington FC, Golborne Sports, St Peter’s High School and Standish.

There is also FREE Girls Soccer Schools as well running in August at Pennington FC for those aged 6-11.

Sessions are £10 a day and are delivered by qualified coaches with the aim of providing hours of fun for boys and girls to practice and develop their football techniques.

Places can be booked via the online booking system here or by paying on the day.

For any further information on the Latics Soccer Schools and Dance Camps email community@wiganathletic.com.