EFL Day of Disabilities: “Many of the young people involved have never attended a football match before.”

To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust gave a special task to children from our disability projects.

With the Community Trust engaging with 250 children and adults with disabilities each year, it is no surprise that we marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in a special way.

Children from our Short Breaks project, which supports children with disabilities through sporting activities, joined our deaf volunteers for the Guard of Honour at our Sheffield United Game last Tuesday. And Brentford players Emiliano Marcondes, Rico Henry and Moses Odubajo congratulated the youngsters on their important matchday role.

More importantly, for many of the young people involved, this was the first time they had ever watched a professional football match. Sherrie Carrington, whose son took part in the Guard of Honour, said:

“He has been non-stop talking about it – you have certainly made him a happy boy tonight! He was actually really nervous about being a flag bearer, in case he did it wrong in front of all those people, but in the end he really enjoyed himself.”

Established in 1992 by the UN, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote the welfare of people with disabilities and raise awareness of the difficulties they often face.

And the EFL, along with the 72 Clubs it represents, aims to highlight how football matches is an inclusive environment for disabled people.  Chris Tribe, Disability Project Manager at Brentford’s Community Sports Trust, said:

 “We thought it was really important to mark the EFL Day of Disabilities, and we wanted to invite some young people who have never attended a football match before, which made the occasion even more special. It was fantastic to see how much they all enjoyed the experience; not many people get the opportunity to step onto the hallowed turf of Griffin Park!”

Ryan’s Story: How Shrewsbury Town Transformed His Life Through The Power Of Football.

With the Day of Disabilities well underway, we want to bring you a story about how Shrewsbury Town’s work in the community has totally transformed his life through the power of football.

Ryan Thomas is 15-years-old who suffers from Chronic Pain Syndrome as well as severe anxiety and is a selective mute, Ryan’s family found out about the ShrewsAbility PAN Football sessions. Although Ryan was extremely nervous about attending the session when he first began, they have become the highlight of his week, he has now started talking at the sessions to both participants and coaches and says it has made him feel safe. he said

“PAN football is great fun, well organised and I feel safe, I wish that I could play every day,”

Ryan has slowly built great friendships within the group and has even met up with other members of the sessions, the other participants of the group have made him feel welcome and he can now attend the sessions with no feelings of anxiety, only excitement. The ShrewsAbility sessions are part of EFL Trust’s Every Player Counts programme, which is funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust

The EFL have committed to a programme of continual improvement to make football more inclusive with all 72 clubs and Level Playing Field.  Which includes delivering a brand new educational seminar for clubs, publishing a new guidance document called ‘The Accessible Supporters Guide’ covering the entire matchday experience from ticket purchase to leaving the ground, and much more.

We couldn’t believe the change in our daughter, her energy and enthusiasm to be more active is amazing

As part of the Every Player Counts programme Southend United run special PE sessions that allow all children to benefit from taking an active part in sport.

Funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust, the sessions are are tailored to meet specific needs of the participants.   One pupil whose benefited from United session is Emily

Emily has always struggled with her physical ability. She attend PE sessions with the rest of her class mates, however she not the most active pupil. She often sat out or refused to play at lunch as she would prefer to read or draw. Emily has learning difficulties and cerebral palsy which means she struggles with communication and struggles to lift and hold objects.  The coaches noticed that Emily wouldn’t get involved with her class mates. She would often get distracted easily and walk around the sports hall and read off the posters on the wall. Emily would prefer to watch the session instead of taking part.

The coaches therefore started delivering in smaller groups to help those, like Emily,   who are shy and lack confidence to be part of the session. This worked well with Emily and we noticed a huge change in her confidence after week four, this is when Emily started to join in. We found out that by promoting prizes that linked to her hobbies encouraged her to join in and socialise with the new students and staff.

Within the last session Emily joined in for the whole session.  Jason who is head of PE at Emily’s school said

 “We spoke to Emily’s parents and they couldn’t believe the change in Emily, they said that her energy and enthusiasm to be more active is amazing!”

Teenagers from Exeter CITY Community Hit the Headlines by Tripling Foodbank Donation

A group of Exeter teenagers have hit the headlines this week thanks to an innovative scheme to drive foodbank donations, that has tripled donations and is now being rolled out nationally  

And they came up with the simple, yet genius, idea when they were taking part in the National Citizen Service with Exeter CITY Community Trust.  This week the group of 13 National Citizen Service (NCS) graduates will see their idea rolled out in Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.

The story really has become a media sensation with the group appearing on Sky Sunrise, BBC Victoria Derbyshire, ITV News and Channel 5 News.  As well seeing their story covered by The Times Independent, Mail Online, BBC Newsbeat, Guardian, AOL, MSN, Big Issue, The Pool.

The idea was developed after the group spoke to their local food bank during the social action phase of the national youth programme for 16 and 17 year olds. NCS graduate, Holly Manning, 17, from Exeter, said:

“After talking to the manager of our local food bank it was clear that shoppers were being reminded too late about donating, with food bank collection points usually being placed at the exit of the store. We also learnt that people were regularly donating similar items, making it difficult for them to get the quantity and variety that they needed to serve the needs of their beneficiaries.”

To combat this, the NCS grads came up with a simple, ingenious idea: pop a branded sticker alongside the items most needed by the local food bank to encourage people to purchase the item and drop it in the existing food bank collection box on their way out.

Holly continued:

“Once we had developed an idea we were confident would help, we set about pitching it to various local retailers. After being turned away by a few we popped into Sainsbury’s and spoke to the store manager who, to our delight, agreed to trial the initiative.”

After two weeks of the labels being in store, the food bank reported the number of donations had increased by 300%.  Mark Richardson, manager of Exeter foodbank, said:

“Teenagers these days often have an unfair reputation for being unengaged with the world around them, so it’s great to see young people being empowered by programmes like NCS to go out into their communities and make a difference.  The results of this initiative just go to show that sometimes you just need a new mind on an old problem, sometimes the most simple ideas have the greatest impact. This campaign has already had fantastic results locally, and I’m excited to see how it can benefit food banks and their clients across the UK.”

The labels – which will appear alongside the top 15 priority food bank items all year round – will be a key driver in Sainsbury’s Supermarket and Sainsbury’s Argos’ festive food and toy donation drive: ‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases’.  Danny Harris, deputy head of community at Exeter CITY Community Trust, said:

‘We are so proud of the young people who developed this project; they threw their hearts and souls into it and it is incredible to think of the impact their idea could have. We have had over 500 teenagers taking part in NCS in Exeter this year and they continue to be inspired by the programme and by each other and are making a real difference in our community.’

CITY Community Trust works in partnership with Exeter City Football Club and provides a range of activities to people of all ages, focused on health, education, wellbeing and physical activity.

To find out more about NCS: www.ncsyes.co.uk

Brentford Legend Kevin O’Connor unites with LGBT+ fan group for Rainbow Laces community match

Brentford’s LGBT+ fan group ‘LGBeeT’s’ laced up their football boots with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and Middlesex FA this week in a bid to raise awareness of LGBT+ equality in football.

The group took part in a unique football match at Middlesex FA’s new home at Rectory Park, Northolt. Along with four Brentford players, Brentford legend Kevin O’Connor attended the event and pledged his stalwart support for the match.

The match coincided with the Rainbow Laces campaign, which encourages fans and athletes to be ‘active allies’ and to play their part in ensuring LGBT+ people feel included in sport. Run by the LGBT+ charity Stonewall, the campaign is now in its fifth consecutive year, and has been credited with tackling discrimination both on and off the football pitch.

Brentford players Jonny Mitchell, Jarvis Edobar, Nicolaj Kirk and Joe Hardy, who all played in the match, joined B-Team Head Coach Kevin O’Connor at Rectory Park. Kevin, who made over 500 appearances for the championship club, felt it was important that Brentford endorsed the Rainbow Laces initiative. Kevin said

 “Our message is clear: football is for everyone. We have to get the message out there and hopefully events like this will highlight Brentford’s commitment to the Rainbow Laces campaign.”

Brentford FC have already cultivated a reputation as a pioneering football club for LGBT+ rights. Back in 2017, Brentford players and officials watched a special screening of the short film WONDERKID, which highlights the problem of homophobia in football, focusing on a young footballer whose sexuality is threatening to alienate him from the game. Gemma Teale, who is the founding member of the LGBT+ fan group, believes such events have an important message for LGBT+ football fans. she said

 “The annual Rainbow Laces campaign has been really important in raising awareness of LGBTphobia in sport – uniting people to become allies over the last few years. It’s great to see the Trust, Club and FA support the campaign with events like this and Brentford’s game against Sheffield– giving the message thatrentford FC and football as a whole is for everyone.”

Bassam Mahfouz, Cabinet Member for Finance and Leisure at Ealing Council, said:

“I am delighted that Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and Middlesex FA have joined forces for Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. Working together with Middlesex FA, Ealing Council are committed to making Rectory Park a footballing hub that is accessible and enjoyable for all. Community matches like this prove that very goal – making football a catalyst for social change.”

 

Schools & Colleges Awarded at NCS Champion Schools Event

60 schools and colleges from South Yorkshire and Humber have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the National Citizen Service (NCS).

Read more

Blackburn Rovers Social Action Stars

An inspirational group of young people from Blackburn Rovers have won the NCS Social Action Star Awards for their project supporting Galloways Society for the Blind.   Their project was voted the best social action project from the many 1,000s of projects that were undertaken by young people on NCS this year.  Here Shannon and Kelly explain a bit about their project and why they love to volunteer in their community.

Walking football has helped improve Stu’s health!

On World Diabetes Day, find out how Tranmere Rovers in the Community are making an importance difference…

 TRFC season ticket holder Stuart Pierce, who has been a regular at Prenton Park for more than 50 years, has type two diabetes but has made sure he has stayed fit and active by participating in the Club’s walking football sessions.  Stu, aged 66, has been a participant on the walking football programme at the Recreational Centre for more than three years after his diagnosis with diabetes.

Stuart said: “I first started watching Tranmere Rovers in 1966 just before England won the World Cup. I have had a number of health problems including diabetes and as part of the regime to try and help my diabetes primarily, I was looking for some form of exercise.“I saw Tranmere Rovers in the Community’s walking football sessions advertised in 2015 and I have been coming ever since.“Having diabetes means that I have had to restructure my diet and I have to eat a lot healthier. However, I feel a lot better and all my food apart from a couple of things is scratch built. I do have the odd bacon sandwich, but I am well behaved!“It is essential to raise awareness for diabetes. People need to get themselves checked to see if they are ok. It is so important to exercise even if it is only going for a walk or come down to Prenton Park and take part in the sessions at Tranmere Rovers in the Community. Many little things will help you.”

Walking football is a regular fixture at Prenton Park and features four days a week. Stu is proud of the work his Club do in order to help people improve their health and admitted everyone is welcome.

He continued: “The walking football sessions are brilliant, and everyone is welcome. They run three sessions a week and it is a smashing friendly group who take part. The sessions take place on Monday afternoon, Wednesday morning and for the elderly gentlemen, there is one on a Friday as well at 11am. The staff at Tranmere work hard and they must be doing something right as the participation numbers are increasing. Even if you only want to take part for an hour or if you have never played football before, it doesn’t matter, as long as you can walk you will soon learn and have fun. We will help everybody. If you have diabetes or any other health problems, there are lots of other groups at Tranmere Rovers that will help your needs. I recommend it to anyone, come and enjoy yourself.”

If you are interested in attending a walking football session at Tranmere Rovers in the Community at the Recreation Centre, please see below…

Monday: Over 50s (2-3pm)

Tuesday: Females over 40 (11-12pm)

Wednesday: Over 50s (11-12pm)
Friday: Over 65s (11-12pm)

To find out more information about our walking football sessions, please email SteveW@tranmererovers.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

Max: Aged 13 and Changing the World

Despite his tender years Max is a young person that has made massive difference to a community on another continent.  Max, despite being only 13, has been on two trips to Kenya as part of Derby County Community Trust’s, ‘Rams in Kenya’ . 

Derby County Community Trust has been taking part in the Rams in Kenya trip for the past seven years.  Since its first trip in 2012, the initiative has grown from 13 volunteers on the first visit to 73 on the latest. Over 300 volunteers have now taken part across the seven trips.

Max , was one of the volunteers at village called Mama Kerry, he says,

“My Dad has always promised me that I could join the Rams in Kenya trip when I reached year 7 and in 2017 I visited the slums in Nakuru for the first time.  We had to fundraise to get there and to buy material for the projects, so last April me, my brother and my Dad ran the Derby 3K and raised over £800 for our trip!  I have since been lucky enough to return again in 2018 and I can’t wait to go back again next year.  My younger brother Fynn will be coming this time too and I’m so excited to introduce him to my friends in Mama Kerry school and for him to help us build more classrooms and play football with the children. On this year’s trip we managed to install running water, build a new classroom which included guttering to a new water tank. We also build a brand new kitchen including work surfaces, a clay over, serving hatch and chimney.

 

The Ram’s volunteers also worked year at other location in Kenya. At Jubilee, a new secure library was built with enlarged windows to ensure a more comfortable learning environment, whilst all existing classrooms and the kitchen were repainted. As well as this, foundations were dug for five new classrooms and books were supplied for all six of the year groups. Work began on an outer classroom at Ungana on the sixth Rams in Kenya trip last year and this was completed this time around, whilst the school gates were repaired and painted, as well as being supplied with two stronger locks. Guttering was also added to two classrooms, with the pipes feeding into a 500-litre tank.  Food was also provided to cater for 109 kids for over two months, whilst building began on two new classrooms. A block of seven toilets was also funded and work also began on a new water tank that will allow children to wash their hands properly after use.  Clothing, shoes and stationary were distributed to the children and a talk was delivered on female hygiene, with girls being provided with sanitary products.

#IwillWeek Celebrating the Impact of our Young People

We’re celebrating how youth social action helps build communities this #iwillWeek – join us!

This week, 12-16 November 2018, is #iwillWeek which serves as a focal point for anyone and any organisations to communicate the benefits of youth social action. This year our focus is on young people. Their voices. Their impact. Their story.

#iwillWeek is a yearly celebration of the anniversary of the inception of the #iwill campaign. The #iwill campaign is a national initiative, led by Patron HRH The Prince of Wales, that launched in 2013 with high-level cross-party support. The campaign has a goal of enabling 10 to 20 year-olds from all backgrounds to have access to volunteering, campaigning and fundraising opportunities by 2020. We call this youth social action – making a difference through practical action in the service of others.

It is an independent cross-party campaign, led by 875 organisations from across sectors, of which we are proud to say we’re one. We believe that enabling more  young people, wherever they live and whatever their background, to become active citizens, will have a long-term, unifying impact on the future of our country.

Across our network of community organisations linked to the 72 EFL football clubs young people make a massive impact.  This week we’ll be celebrating some of the work that they do for their community.