International Women’s Day: Grace Phillips’ story

From holiday camp participant, to youth councillor and student, to apprentice coach, Grace Phillips has been a continued advocate for positive change in her local community.

Grace first came into contact with Bristol City Robins Foundation at the age of just six-years-old when she attended one of the Foundation’s school holiday football camps. The youngster’s attitude at the camp and her clear leadership skills were quickly picked up upon by the Foundation’s coaches, who invited Grace to join the – then newly formed – Youth Council.

As part of the Robins Foundation’s Youth Council, Grace was keen to make football more accessible for women and girls and wanted to provide females of all ages the chance to get involved in the game that she had never had. Grace has since received both regional and national accolades for her dedication and commitment to community work.

Grace and her peers at the Foundation’s Youth Council worked to develop a multi-generational football session (named F3) to provide women and girls of all ages and abilities the chance to play football and have fun, free of charge. The project won the FA award for the best participation initiative in 2017/18.

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From here, Grace decided to continue her studies through the Foundation’s education department, whilst simultaneously volunteering at the sessions she had worked relentlessly to develop.

Grace excelled academically at the Foundation and Bristol City Robins Foundation were in a position to offer the young coach the opportunity to join their workforce on a full-time basis, as an Apprentice Community Coach.

Grace is now an integral part of the Foundation’s community delivery and continues to develop as a coach.

Projects and Partnerships Manager at Bristol City Robins Foundation, James Edwards – who has worked with Grace since her first contact with Bristol City’s official charity over 15 years ago – commented: “Grace’s journey through the Foundation is the embodiment of what we strive for here at the Robins Foundation. Her commitment to the work that she carries out in the community is exceptional.

“Grace is an absolute credit to the Foundation and indeed to Bristol as a whole and we are incredibly proud to have her enrolled as an Apprentice Coach. I have no doubt that Grace will continue to develop as a coach and will be an immense success.”

Grace told the Foundation: “I’m so pleased that I have been able to have a positive impact on my local community.

“The opportunity to work as an Apprentice Coach with the Robins Foundation has been brilliant for me and I have really enjoyed being able to continue working in the local community. I feel like my coaching skills have really developed, and continue to develop as I gain more experience.”

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#InternationalWomensDay, 8th March 2020