Determined Hull Teens do their bit for the Environment

A group of young people from Hull City FC’s Tigers Trust, completed a beach clean-up at Bridlington Beach last week, as they embarked upon their mission to improving their local environment.

The inspiring group are part of the Tiger’s Trust NCS Changemakers programme. NCS is the ultimate experience for young people aged 16-17, in which they are given the opportunity to make new friends, develop new skills and create new memories. NCS Changemakers, compromise of 25 NCS graduates, who meet up regularly to make a real, positive impact in the community.

The group banded together for their #NCSActionDay project, with the intention of leaving an environmental impact, by reducing the amount of rubbish and waste from the beaches on the East Coast of England. The young group also used their tech-savvy skills, as they used social media to promote the reduction of litter, emphasising the point to others of taking care of the environment.

The team were motivated from the onset, in sending a message and leaving a positive environmental impact, as they felt that there was a large amount of litter within their community and decided to take action. The action was decided after performing a brainstorming and mind-mapping exercise, giving the group some ideas on what they wanted to do, leading towards the beach clean-up.

Brooke and Jazz, were some of the inspiring NCS Changemakers involved within the project, and both had this to say:

Brooke, – “The beach clean-up felt very rewarding to me because going round the beach and cleaning up the litter and garbage for the people and the animals made us feel better because we were helping with the environment. This made me feel better knowing there was a much smaller amount of rubbish on the beach now, than when we started.”

Jazz, – “By having an input and making the environment a safer and cleaner place for the locals and tourists, the smallest of inputs can make someone’s day. I’m proud to say I was a part of this project.”

The group were also joined by Dominik Stingas Paczko, Head of NCS at EFL Trust, who also joined in their efforts of leaving an environmental impact during their clean-up of Bridlington Beach.

NCS Officer of Tigers Trust, Elliott Greenfield, said he was proud of the difference the Changemakers group were able to make at Bridlington and hopes that it can provide inspiration for other young people to make a difference.

He said:

“It was fantastic to get out in Bridlington to collect some litter and the group managed to collect many bags of litter to help reduce the environmental impact along the East Yorkshire coastline. I am incredibly proud of our young people for coming together and delivering this ace project.

“Thanks to Northern rail for providing the services for us to access Bridlington from Hull, it was a memorable day using your trains and definitely made the journey quicker, easier and more comfortable.”

“Another thank you to Dom, the Head of NCS, for coming along to our social action project and getting involved!”

To find out more about NCS, please click here.

Sadiyah finds her voice on NCS

Sadiyah Desai, 19, is an inspiring young person who overcame the restrictions of her life-long disability, after building her skills and confidence through NCS with Preston North End Community and Education Trust (PNECT).

For most young people, acquiring the confidence to meet new people and push out of their comfort zone, can be a daunting process. Sadiyah Desai, has learning difficulties and severe sight loss, which has seriously lowered her confidence levels throughout her life. However, she owes her newfound confidence to the NCS programme and staff since encountering the opportunity to join NCS with PNECT, Sadiyah embraced the chance and has since seen her life transformed.

Sadiyah initially joined NCS with PNECT during Summer last year. NCS is the ultimate experience for young people aged 16-17, in which they are given the opportunity to make new friends, develop new skills and create new memories. The opportunity was offered to Sadiyah within her college who   encouraged her to get involved.

Sadiyah summarises her time on NCS with PNECT:

 “If it wasn’t for NCS coming into our college it is probably something I never would have had the opportunity to sign up nor would I have signed up for it.”

“NCS helped me gain confidence and impacted my confidence in everyday life or any work that related to college. I can now say that I have achieved something.”

“My time on NCS helped me gain confidence in asking for support and showed me it is not something to be ashamed off this has had a very positive impact on what I can now do at college and even at home. NCS has showed me how much I can achieve and I have achieved.”

As part of the programme, Sadiyah participated in a disability awareness workshop, in which Sadiyah approached NCS team members and spoke up about how her own disability has affected her confidence and self-esteem levels throughout her life.

Sadiyah was encouraged within the programme to speak about topics and areas she was most passionate about to group members. As a devote Muslim, Sadiyah was passionate about her faith and illustrated enlightening items connected to her faith. Sadiyah was motivated to talk to the group further on her religion and about her community.

This is where Sadiyah’s confidence began to come through and for the first time did public speaking.  in which she developed her confidence, presentation and public-speaking skills.

Brad North, NCS Co-ordinator was key in supporting Sadiyah throughout her time on NCS and had this to say:

“Sadiyah transformed from someone who could not speak to her classmates or answer questions in a classroom environment to speaking with confidence to some of the most senior officials connected with both NCS and her college.”

“Her journey is one the NCS team will always be proud of and it continues to motivate the team to deliver NCS in the hope to inspire the next young person.”

During her NCS experience, Sadiyah also greatly enjoyed the number of activities that was provided to her, in particular Zumba, in which she discussed with us about her joy of participating in.

“My favourite NCS activity to do was leading Zumba. Before NCS I never would have had the confidence to lead Zumba. However, NCS allowed me the opportunity to achieve that. I always thought people would laugh at the thought of me doing any type of chorography. With the help of Brad and Jess I started to lead the session and that is an experience I will never forget.”

“I taught myself something that day, that if you think you are good at something, then never be scared of expressing yourself. Leading Zumba is an experience I will never forget and is something I continue to do in class on a regular basis and NCS gave me that opportunity.”

After developing herself in such as short amount of time, Sadiyah felt transformed and motivated to continue in enlightening and helping others in areas that she was passionate about. This led to Sadiyah volunteering to the NCS Changemakers programme at PNECET, in which Sadiyah will be front and centre leading on upcoming Ramadan projects.

More recently, Sadiyah has had the opportunity to speak about her NCS Journey and the impact it has had with key figures which included the Chancellor of the Ducy of Lancaster, Steve Barclay and CEO of NCS, Mark Gifford.

Steve Barclay Minister for the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom visits Preston North End Community and Education Trust

Sadiyah met Mark at PNE’s annual NCS matchday and was selected by PNECET to be their special guest. She said:

“I really enjoyed it, I was so happy that I was chosen to attend the match day out of all the NCS participants, it just shows you how much I have achieved. The whole experience has made a massive impact on my confidence, everything has gone really well for me since doing NCS.”

“I have changed a lot, I can now confidently submit a good piece of work and it has shown my strengths. The match day highlighted this as it showed me how far I had come.”

The extent of the journey and transformation that Sadiyah has embarked upon has been remarkable, in which  for Sadiyah, who is now equipped with new skills and charisma, is in the perfect position to now progress further and reach her potential.

To find out more about NCS, click here.

From No GCSE to Top Grades: How Bristol City Helped Millie.

Mille joined the Bristol City’s Robins Education programme in 2018, shy, lacking confidence, and with no self-belief after not passing any of her GCSE exams. She found herself unsure of the direction in which she wanted her life to go in. An advertisement for the Robins Foundation Education programme appeared whilst she was trawling social media one night. Despite being nervous, Millie pulled through her uncertainty to attend a taster session to find out more about what the course entailed.

She immediately built a rapport with the coaches and other girls just like her who would be on the same course, consequently Millie enjoyed her time and would soon find herself starting the course. It didn’t take her long to start to emerge from the shell she had burrowed herself into and built a strong relationship with her Sports Lecturer Chloe Rogers. Part of the course required students to complete a certain number of volunteer hours within the academic year. This took her out of her comfort zone and gave her a sense of responsibility she had not had before.

Millie volunteered through various avenues at Bristol City from overseeing the family zone on match days to supporting coaches at holiday camps. As well as this, she also helped out at sessions the Foundation run including Wildcats, Foster Care Sessions and Pan Disability Sessions.

From volunteering, Millie found her passion and quickly realised she wanted to pursue a career in coaching. Through her course and hours of volunteering Millie swiftly developed her coaching skills and secured a part-time coaching job whilst studying.

After 4 years with the Robins Foundation and Education programme, Millie has completed the BTEC Level 3 in National Extended Diploma in Sports and the Foundation Degree in Community Coaching and Development. Millie has now secured a full-time job as a Head Coach with Future Stars.

Sports Lecturer Chloe Rogers said: “Millie is a prime example of what empowering young females can do for females in the industry. Millie has been on a remarkable journey throughout her time at the foundation and this is all down to just a bit of belief in herself, from having minimal GCSE to graduating with the highest grade possible (D*D*D*) alongside 200 + Volunteering hours and a Level 1 Coaching qualification.

It has been a pleasure to witness her growth and see her impact on young females involved in other projects we run and the positive influence she has on young females getting involved in the sport. Millie was an asset to the classroom and her behavior, conversations, and assignments were always a joy to witness. I am very proud of everything Millie has achieved she is as unique as the course we run.”

Millie Rose said: “From starting The Robins Foundation as a young 16-year-old, lacking self-belief, confidence and purpose my four year journey has now come to end with me leaving the Robins Foundation with confidence, character and knowledge. I am going on to a job that I would never have imagined I would achieve – along with the most amazing memories/experience of my journey.”

Port Vale Foundation have been increasing the confidence of young people with disabilities on the NCS programme

Through NCS with Port Vale Foundation, young people with disabilities at Kemball School have pushed through their comfort zones and acquired new skills and confidence. Young people on NCS were given the exciting opportunity to shadow staff at Port Vale FC, learning key workplace skills and developing their own job application acumen, enabling them to be work ready.

Port Vale Foundation began its collaborative work with Kemball School back in February this year, where NCS Skills Booster sessions were provided to assist the young people in a number of critical key areas such as; developing their own aspirations, gaining independence, acquiring employability and creating successful job application forms.

Throughout their experiences on NCS and with workshops such as, presentation and public speaking skills, the young people started to develop their skills and with it, simultaneously, their confidence.

A teacher from Kemball School had this to say about the programme:

“Pupils at Kemball School have had a difficult time over the last two years due to being unable to get out and about in the community. This being a skill which is vital for their preparation for adulthood skills. We were approached by Port Vale Foundation and were offered the NCS skills booster sessions.

From the first session, the pupils were engaged with the staff and were showing signs of wanting to get out of their comfort zones.”

In addition to the skills booster sessions, Port Vale FC hosted an NCS Takeover day, which was also referred to as ‘A Day in the Life of’. This was an exciting opportunity for the young people to shadow a key member of staff at the football club or foundation for the day, allowing them to gain essential work experience, as well as a peek into the working day lives of the Port Vale staff.

The young people were given exposure to a number of different roles at Port Vale, such as Hospitality, Groundskeeping, Marketing, Media and Operations. For the day, they were tasked on developing applications forms for the highlighted roles, and were to voice why they should be selected to be within that role for the day.

After gaining an insight into the roles they were shadowing, the young people were then thrilled to have been given exclusive access at the stadium, in which they also met Boomer the Port Vale FC mascot.

The young people made magnificent strides within such as short time frame, as they developed their skills and confidence through the sessions. They learnt first-hand on-the-job, the skills and attributes required to be working within the workplace. The young people made a huge impression on staff and have been invited back for more work experience at The Vale.

As a token of gratitude for all fantastic experiences and skills learnt, the young people wrote thank you letters to the staff members that they had shadowed for the day.

Jorgie Wallace, NCS Project Lead at Port Vale Foundation highlighted the day:

“On the day, the young people shone, they came out of their comfort zones and they were fantastic within their job roles. I am really excited that we have begun work with Kemball school and I am looking forward to what we can offer and the opportunities for the young people.

We are really excited for the NCS programme we are delivering to the year 11 cohort in May. Well done everyone!”

Port Vale Foundation have been working meticulously with delivering its NCS programme and impacting young people’s lives for the better within the community. As a part of their mission, Port Vale Foundation partner with 3 local SEND (Special Education Needs school) one of them being Kemball School, with the strong intention of allowing all young people to have equal opportunities and experiences.

To find out more about NCS, click here.

Niraj aims to be a role model for younger generations after graduating the degree programme with Preston North End Community and Education Trust

Having completed the degree programme with the University of South Wales and Preston North End Community and Education Trust, Niraj aims to be a role model for the younger generations.

Niraj has been involved in the education courses with Preston for a total of five years having joined them after completing his GCSEs in 2016. Consequently, he always desired to pursue a career in sport and after attending the PNECET open evening, he was adamant to continue his journey in coaching.

He explained: “This was different in that I was in charge. I needed to drive what I wanted to learn. In school you have many subjects not all of them were for me, here I was given the structure, the tools and fantastic guidance from my tutors, especially Graeme Atkinson and Jodi Collum, they really treated us like adults but with clear leadership as to what was expected of us and the pitfalls of missing deadlines of submissions of assignments etc.”

Moreover, during his Level 3 BTEC, Niraj was an individual who wasn’t afraid to go out into schools to aid staff with their initiatives and this has benefitted him with his later endeavours. With a keen interest in futsal, he picked up his Level 2 Football Coaching qualification whilst delivering futsal at his local external club.

As a result of numerous real-world learning experiences, Niraj said: “My confidence has rocketed, and I feel I can manage many stakeholders from young children, young adults to parents. I understand the various facets that the trust is engaged in and more importantly how it contributes to the welfare of the overall community. I feel privileged to have the network of the community trust. I have matured and become professional and that is all due to the trust supporting me and guiding me.”

One of these experiences is supporting the delivery of Primary Stars in schools at a number of predominantly Asian speaking schools in Preston where he now sees himself “as an ambassador for PNECET”. With such an influence on the younger generation, he said: “I feel honoured that I am representing the trust and I know from the feedback I receive from the children at numerous schools that some of them including some very young ones who say they also want to be a coach and work for PNETCET. This gives me a real buzz and I know each day will be different with their own challenges that help shape and develop me further.”

Niraj is a valued member of the part-time staff at the Trust, but he now wants to continue his personal growth and development “secure a full-time role with PNECET and lead by example to other students.”

“It wasn’t long before I came back to NCS”

Travelling back to the summer of 2019, Charlie Boulby signed up to NCS, having no set idea on what to expect or what she was going to get out of it. Fast forward almost 3 years later, Charlie discovers new skills, new confidence and a new career on NCS with Sheffield United Community Foundation (SUCF).

NCS is the ultimate experience for young people aged 16-17, in which they are given the opportunity to make new friends, develop new skills and create new memories. Players of Sheffield United will be celebrating the success of young people on NCS as they will be hosting #NCSMatchday when they play Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday.

One of the testaments to SUCF’s successful NCS programme is Charlie. Upon Charlie’s initial first experience on NCS with SUCF, she took part in a social action project, which allowed her to make new friends and develop her own skills.

The Social action project phase of NCS is the conclusion of the programme, in which NCS participants band together as a group to generate ideas to make a positive impact in the community.

For Charlie, her group decided to raise money for a local heart charity. To raise the funds, the group used their innovation and charisma, as they hosted a quiz night, as well as hosting other small fundraising events. Their efforts were rewarded as they raised over £1000 for a charity her group was passionate about.

Charlie summarises her first NCS experience in Summer 2019:

“I did not have a clue what to expect and I ended up having the best summer of my life.”

After experiencing an incredible summer, Charlie didn’t want her NCS journey to end there. She joined SUCF’s NCS Local Youth Board which focused on raising awareness for important causes and supporting local charities within Sheffield. However, due to the pandemic, this opportunity was cut short and she decided it was a good time to focus on her A-Levels.

Once NCS was available to young people again, Charlie was keen to get back involved and applied to be an NCS Team Leader during Summer 2020 with SUCF.

“It wasn’t long before I came back to NCS after I applied to be a team leader for the summer programme. I felt that this was really rewarding as not only did it give me the opportunity to give something back, but it also boosted my confidence massively, especially after coming out of lockdowns.”

“Being a team leader gave me the opportunity to explore a different kind of responsibility that I had never experienced before. Working with young people from different backgrounds, I acquired a great set of social skills which came in handy as I applied for a degree apprenticeship with the police.”

With new skills acquired from her experiences with NCS, Charlie now possessed the right attributes and confidence, which allowed her to progress her passions even further, as she was able to secure a full-time role at SUCF as an NCS Recruitment Coordinator.

“I didn’t make it through the application process with the police, but I wasn’t deterred and most recently I was given the opportunity to work with the Foundation full time.

“Thanks to this, I’m now in a position where I’m learning a whole new set of skills including time management, project organisation and public speaking, all of which are putting me in good stead to get exactly where I want to be in the future.”

NCS staff, like Charlie, play such a crucial role in making young people’s experiences the best they can be. If you are interested in working on NCS this summer to gain new skills and build confidence, please click here

Rochdale AFC Community Trust’s Apprentice Ikram Irfam has become the first point of contact for many customers

Ikram first joined the Trust in Summer 2021 as part of the club’s traineeship programme. The programme took on six trainees on a 25-hour work placement with a variety of educational options available. A traineeship is a 12-week training programme run by many Football Clubs that developed people’s work-based skills and build their confidence, so they are ready to start their careers.

He immediately immersed himself in everything the Trust offers from supporting the office and admin teams, delivering Soccer Schools to the Military Veterans charity fixture.

With an obvious hard-working, keen to learn attitude, upon completing his traineeship Ikram was offered the chance to work full time for the charity through the Government’s Kickstart Programme, supported by the EFL Trust.

The Kickstarter scheme, which supports the employment of a young person for 6 months, allowed Ikram to work full time as a Business and Marketing Assistant, supporting day to day business functions and getting his teeth into photography and graphic design.

“Ikram has so much potential” commented Ryan Bradley, Community Director.

“He fits into our team perfectly and is always keen to learn.

People often comment about the young man in the suit in our office- he’s the first point of contact for many of our customers and works to support all of our staff across all of our programmes.

He’s not the finished article yet, and like every young person, he needs further support and training, but we all believe in him and look forward to seeing him develop”

This further training will see Ikram embark on a two-year Apprenticeship in Business Administration with Hopwood Hall College to gain his Level 3 qualification.

“When I left school, I never thought I’d end up working at the football club” commented Ikram.

“I’m glad I did the traineeship with Rochdale Training, and the Kickstarter programme really helped me decide on what I want to do going forward.

I’m looking forward to learning more about Business Administration and I’ll also look to continue to work on my design, photography and marketing skills as well”

Ikram will be hopeful that his effect on those at the Trust will long continue into a full-time role after he gains his apprenticeship award.

Jacob Fahy: Plymouth Argyle’s Rising Star Apprentice

As we continue to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week by highlighting all the great work of EFL club’s apprenticeship schemes, we reflect on Jacob Fahy’s journey with Plymouth Argyle.

Jacob featured in last year’s celebrations but has since gone on to hit new heights in his role as he was awarded Apprentice of the Year Rising Star Award at the end of 2021!

Jacob credits a 12 week traineeship with Argyle Community Trust as being the turning point in his life. He describes the Traineeship course as “a game changer for me – it helped me work out what I wanted to do and rebuild my life. The course was an amazing experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity.”

Plymouth Argyle are one of several EFL Clubs on EFL Trust’s traineeship programme. A traineeship offers youngsters aged 16-23, who are currently not in education or employment the crucial first stepping stone to getting a job. The 12 week courses are week based at professional football clubs. Trainees receive free training in employment skills such as CV writing and interview skills in addition to receiving support on their functional Math and English skills. Crucially they also get the chance to gain valuable work experience in a wide range of industries.

“My confidence was at a real low and I found going out an experience that made me really anxious” says Jacob Fahy.

Prior to starting the Traineeship programme, Jacob had been out of education and employment for over 2.5 years. Jacob is very open and honest in describing his journey from this starting point, highlighting that “my confidence was at a real low, so meeting the tutor for the first meeting was a real challenge.” After scheduling a meeting in the relaxed surroundings of a local coffee shop with a referral partner that Jacob was working with (and after much discussion about Jacob’s favorite football team Liverpool’s title chances), Jacob had decided he would like to step out of his comfort zone and join the programme.

Throughout the course, Jacob opted to complete his work experience in coaching children. This was something that he excelled in and thoroughly enjoyed, so much so he knew that this was what he wanted to do in the future.

He says “Prior to the course, I was not sure what I wanted to do and lacked any real career focus or motivation. Working with children through my work placement though was amazing and helped me to realise what I was passionate about!”

Jacob successfully completed the course and then sought to progress onto an apprenticeship, applying for a vacancy at Plymouth Argyle Football in the Community Trust. Jacob’s charisma and new found confidence were pivotal in him securing the role, to Jacob’s delight!

Jacob then continued to undertake the Level 2 Community Activator Coach apprenticeship standard. The apprenticeship looks to support those aspiring to follow a career in the sport or education sectors, through working with children across both school and community sports contexts.

Part of Jacobs’s role has afforded him the opportunity to become involved in supporting key workers and vulnerable children at St. Catherine’s Primary School in Launceston, Cornwall, during the national lock down caused by COVID-19 restrictions.

Jacob describes this experience as being “absolutely incredible, allowing me to build some amazing relationships with pupils and staff, whilst also being able to support them in getting active and staying healthy.

Dan Shurmer, Plymouth Argyle Football in the Community Trust Training and Skill Manager comments, “We are extremely proud of Jacob’s progress and very much look forward to supporting his professional development through this exciting apprenticeship pathway.”


QPR’s Apprenticeship Scheme was the perfect opportunity for Anna to pursue a career in Community Coaching

QPR’s Community Trust provided Anna Hampshire with the opportunity to pursue a career, she never thought was possible.  Having graduated University in the Summer with a degree in Human Biology and a Masters in Sports Science, Anna sought out the Trust’s and secured an apprenticeship after realising that community coaching was a possible career path and she has not looked back since. Anna has taken up a vital role in the Trust’s education team where she was named Premier League Primary Stars Officer six months into her apprenticeship.

She explains: “I was fortunate to begin my apprenticeship here with QPR in the Community Trust and then six months into that I was offered a full-time role as a Premier League Primary Stars Officer and have loved every minute of it.

“I had never really coached primary school-aged children before; I had always worked in secondary schools so it’s new and different, but I enjoy it so much.

“I have always been into sport, and I have always enjoyed helping people. At University I coordinated the volunteering in my halls, but I never realised this was an actual career path that I could go down, but as soon as I found the Trust, I realised that was for me.

“Day to day I am based at local primary school, Ark Burlington Danes Academy Primary where I undertake all their PE lessons as well as their after-school club, on Friday’s I come into the office to do my admin work so inputting data and planning my sessions.

“But it’s great being here, walking round the local area in your QPR kit and people recognising you and seeing the other coaches is a nice feeling.”

She added: “It’s the apprenticeship scheme has been fantastic for me, whether you are coming straight from A Levels or from University, or you simply just aren’t sure on what to do then it is a good starting point, for me it was a good foot in the door to then move onto my now full-time role.

“I have been supported by great people who I could always go to if there were any problems or any questions about the local schools, they have such a great deal of knowledge of the local area and that has really helped me get to where I am now.”

Mentor Gavin Forbes who has managed the apprenticeship scheme was quick to highlight just how successful the process has been since its creation in 2017.

He explained: With the assistance of the training provider, Mitre Group, we have been able to support a number of apprentices on their career journeys.

“80% of our apprentice’s work still within sport with 50% of those are working with QPR in full time & part time roles within the Trust or Academy.

” I have seen the benefits of the programme to the apprentices and have seen them grow in confidence in delivering projects & supporting people within the community and Anna is no different.”

Gavin added: “Anna has been a brilliant addition to the Trust and has been able to develop a great rapport with the children and staff at Ark Burlington Danes Primary Academy.

“She has shown great initiative and always approached helping others with enthusiasm and commitment which has been evident within her delivery.

“I am proud of Anna’s progress and proud to have her as part of the R’s family.”

Anna is proof that an apprenticeship can be the perfect way to kickstart a career path you love whilst providing to the local community.

Apprenticeship with Millwall Community Trust allowed Zak to gain valuable experience

Zak Jaques started his progression through Millwall Community Trust’s Traineeship programme. A traineeship is a 12-week training programme run by many Football Clubs that developed people’s work-based skills and build their confidence so they are ready to start their careers. This saw Zak learn and nurture both soft and hard-skills in order to build his way to full-time employment at the Trust.

Zak  was previously part of the Employment Support Programme at Millwall Community Trust where he received experience as a receptionist in order to gain his Level 2 Customer Service qualification. Having gained knowledge and skills of a real-world working environment, he was given the opportunity to continue his work at the Trust as a volunteer.

With 6 months of voluntarily work under his belt, Zak was approached by his manager about the apprenticeship programme the Trust offered in partnership with Southwark College. He immediately signed onto the course and has not looked back.

He explained: “I did a Business Admin Level 3 Apprenticeship that was in partnership with Southwark college. I started in January 2019, it was an 18-month apprenticeship with 4 days in the workplace and 1 day in which I did offsite learning at the college.

I learnt a range of different aspects of business administration from legislation’s to internal and external organisational structures and their sectors, and much more.”

During his apprenticeship, Zak was able to implement his learning into improving the Trust.

He said: “We had to do a project on something that improves our organisation and the project I chose to do revolved around maintaining a cleaner environment. Our dustbins were constantly overfilling due to the waste produced from different events previously held at the Trust. My project would help create a new system for dustbins to not be overfilled.”

Millwall Community Trust has not only aided local people into avenues of work, but their apprenticeship programme provides young people with valuable experiences.

Zak believes this has been pivotal in his transition to becoming an employee within the trust because “A common issue, particularly with young people trying to get into employment, is the lack of experience. An apprenticeship helps you get a step into the world of work with minimal previous experience, which was a great benefit for me.

“I would recommend an apprenticeship to everyone. It helped me gain experience, skills and secure role here.”

John Scarborough, MCT’s employment and education manager, witnessed Zak’s progression at MCT first-hand.

He said: “Zak’s journey at the Trust is a real credit to the hard work and dedication that he has shown since enrolling initially in our Employment support programme.

During that journey, he has benefitted from many different Millwall mentors along the way – all of whom would testify of Zak’s progress both in his role and as a professional employee.

The ability to complete his employment support programme and being able to access an apprenticeship opportunity is a testament to the support pathways apprenticeships provide. It gives us as an employer, but also participants on our programme and in the wider community a chance to upskill themselves, as well as secure long-term employment and a sense of distinct professional identity.

We really look forward to seeing Zak’s continued journey at the Trust and the positive effect he has on his colleagues and our participants who access our facilities.”

Zak will now look to continue his impact on the Trust as he continues his journey with Millwall.