Joe’s Journey

Like most teenagers, Joe, from Sheffield, wasn’t sure what to do in life or what options were available to him for his future; until he did NCS with Sheffield United Football Club back in the summer of 2012.

Joe was one of the first teens to take part in NCS, not knowing the impact it would have on his life. He was part of the first and only national graduation that took place at the O2 Arena in London which was followed by a seat at Wembley to watch England in a World Cup Qualifier.

At the time, Joe felt that learning in a classroom environment wasn’t for him and he was adamant about not going into further education, until Chris Bailey, who was Education Manager at Sheffield United Community Foundation opened Joe’s eyes to the opportunities at the Club.

Eventually, Joe enrolled onto a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport with Sheffield United and went on to achieve a First Class BSc (Hons) in Sport Development with Coaching at Sheffield Hallam University.

Chris Bailey, now Head of Sheffield United Community Foundation, met Joe on NCS in 2012:

“Joe was a bit of a challenge to start with, but the investment of our time with him paid off tenfold. Two years after Joe had achieved a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, he earned himself a place at University.

“Not to mention, Joe represented SUFC in the Futsal National Finals, winning trophies and accolades along the way. Not bad for someone who didn’t want to go on and continue his studies.”

Whilst studying at University, Joe volunteered his time on the NCS programme, drawing on his experience to support other teens on the programme at a number of south Yorkshire Clubs including Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday before eventually landing a full time role as NCS Recruitment Engagement Officer at Sheffield United.

Joe spoke about NCS:

“NCS and Sheffield United really opened my eyes to opportunities I didn’t know were available.

“Working full time on NCS is an incredible. I am now in a privileged position to give back to NCS and support teenagers who were in similar situation to me.” 

Chris was delighted to have Joe full time on the programme where he started his journey six years ago:

“When I found out Joe had applied to join the Foundation as an employee on NCS, I knew instantly that we had a very trustworthy and committed young man.

“Fortunately our NCS Manager thought the same, and Joe became an employee in 2018. It’s amazing what you can achieve by saying yes to the programme.”


Sheffield United are 1 of 22 other clubs across the EFL and Premier League who will be hosting an NCS Match Day in February. NCS Match Day is an annual event championed by EFL Trust to celebrate the positive impact that young people are having in local communities across the country. The club’s first team players will have an important role to play by warming up in NCS branded t shirts and meeting programme graduates.

To find out more about NCS visit: