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NCS: Bringing younger and older generations together

This summer a group of eight young adults on the National Citizen Service (NCS) with Argyle Community Trust, developed a social action project that will leave a positive and everlasting impact on the older generation of their community.

After embarking on a journey of personal development and team based participation, where comfort zones were stretched and friendships flourished, the team of young people based at Carn Brea in Plymouth cultivated an ambition to create a valuable social action project to help the older generation.

They wanted to show that, as younger people, they still value and respect their elders.

The perception that certain older members of the community are forgotten when placed in care homes was the golden thread that brought them together. This collective vision subsequently brought about the initial stages of ‘The Memory Garden Project’. To generate a safe and vibrant place that would bring comfort and joy to residents. A location where family and friends could visit and re-live all those fond and cherished memories.

The team found a very willing and grateful partner in St Martins Care Home in Camborne. This local care home takes immense pride in their work and does an amazing job caring for its residents. However, a communal area situated in the centre of the building, was in need of some TLC. St Martins looks after patients that have Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and this resonated with the team on a personal level.

The team worked incredibly hard raising money in their planning stage and generated a staggering £613. Their aim was to regenerate the communal area and give something back to an establishment that does so much. Although the money raised enabled the team to provide various practical items, such as storage space, seated arbours and decorative hanging baskets, the most significant donation was their determination and hard work.

Craig Tanner, Team Leader said: “It has been a privilege to watch this group of individuals develop and challenge themselves. The change within the team has been truly inspiring.

”They have worked incredibly hard to make this happen and to see their faces on completion was a proud moment. I wish them the best of luck in their future aspirations and can’t wait to see them graduate in October.”

This hard work has also been recognised in Plymouth by the local community and more specifically the local MP. George Eustice visited St Martins to show his appreciation of the brilliant work undertaken. The team radiated with pride and spoke enthusiastically about the work they had done. This was backed up by glorious praise given to the team regularly by both staff and residents at St Martin.

John Bulley St Martins (Cornwall Care) said: “We are so very grateful that the NCS team came around and regenerated one of our Gardens at St Martins Residential Home. It has been a huge relief, and our residents very much appreciate what they have done for them and our staff.

”It was great to see the residents take in what was happening, we at St Martins from Staff to residents and Visitors were overwhelmed by the work ethos from your young people and staff who came here from raising the money to organising the work and behaving like grown-ups, and being 100% professional at all times.”

The team have now completed their National Citizen Service programme and are now moving on to future endeavours. They have developed as people and obtained valuable life skills to take forward that can be applied not only within future education, but also when they venture into employment.

To find out more about NCS visit: www.ncsefltrust.co.uk

FUTSAL AND EDUCATION: ‘From not knowing what to do in life, to representing my country in front of thousands’

EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme scholars, Morgan Pratt and Momodou Touray, are two prime examples of how the course can open the door to life changing pathways and experiences.

After approaching the end of secondary school, both boys were hesitant of what to do next in their lives. Never could they imagine that two years later, they would be playing for their home country in front of thousands of fans.

The boys were chosen to represent Wales at under-18 school boy level and played in international fixtures against England, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

“I wish I could relive the experience,” said Morgan. “From not knowing what to do with my life two years ago after finishing school, to then singing the Welsh national anthem away in Scotland in front of over a thousand people was unbelievable.”

Momodou commented: “I’ve always dreamed of playing for the Wales team. The atmosphere whilst coming on against Northern Ireland was phenomenal, it will be a moment I will never forget. It brought me to the realisation that this is only the beginning for me.”

The EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme specialises in offering a platform to young people who love sport but aren’t motivated by the classroom environment, presenting a different way to learn and progress in their careers.

Unlike regular college courses, students are able to combine studying sport, gaining qualifications that will enable progression into university, and play football and futsal with regular coaching to develop their technical, tactical and physical ability.

Morgan added: “I was unsure what to do next when I finished school. Then I came across an opportunity to go on the programme. At first I was worried about leaving my comfort zone and leaving my old school and friends – but it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.”

“I’ve always been interested in learning how the body works with nutrition, in different situations of exercise and activity,” Momodou said, “I’m so glad I chose to join the programme as I now realise it has helped me to understand nutritional information as a footballer and the best food and meals appropriate to contain a healthy diet.”

After representing Wales and going into his second year of the programme, Momodou has since signed a two year scholarship with Newport County AFC’s academy team.

He has already been named five times on the substitute bench for the first team, something that Newport County’s Futsal and Education Programme co-coordinator Dave Lewis is proud of.

He said: “It was fantastic to see Momodou offered a two year scholarship with the academy team and I am immensely proud to have played a part in his development.

“Both individuals [Momodou and Morgan] have showed a fantastic attitude towards their studies and consistently performed to an excellent standard during both futsal and football 11v11 games programmes.

“They both had unforgettable and outstanding experiences during their international fixtures which wouldn’t have been made possible if they weren’t part of the programme.”

The two scholars were also keen to encourage others with an interest in studying and playing sport to sign up to the programme.

“Anyone should consider signing up to the programme as it gives you the opportunity to not only study sport and get good qualifications, but also travel to different cities within the UK and play against experienced players,” Momodou said.

“You should sign up to the programme if you want to get a good education behind you,” added Morgan. “It gives you the tools to go to university and you get the chance to play lots of football and futsal which will definitely improve you as a player as the coaching is second to none.”

To find out more information about the EFL Trust Futsal and Education Programme visit: www.efltrust.com/futsal

TRAINEESHIPS: Young people kick start life with Blackpool FC

Young people who have struggled to find employment have been offered a life changing opportunity to turn their lives around, thanks to their local football club.

Blackpool FC Community Trust are one of many EFL club trusts offering youngsters the chance to gain invaluable work experience on the traineeship programme.

The course, aimed at people aged 16-23, has been made to offer those who are currently not in education, employment or training a stepping stone back into further education.

Trainees on the programme get to spend three days a week based at their local professional football club, whilst shadowing experienced members of club staff and community football coaches.

In just 12-16 weeks, students get free training in employment skills including; CV writing and experience, employment opportunities, interview skills, coaching skills resulting in a FA Level 1 qualification, high quality work experience in business administration, hospitality, grounds maintenance, match day, retail and experience of working in the sport and leisure industry.

Connor Snape, aged 18, is currently on work placement with Blackpool FC and has been helping the Seasiders staff to prepare for pre-season and life in League One.

Connor said, “As a massive Blackpool FC fan, I’m delighted to be receiving my work placement at the club. I’m helping out in the kit-room and making sure everything is ready for when the players return for pre-season training.

“This is my second placement as I was at TEE Time Golf Centre last month working with the grounds staff. Both placements have given me key employment skills which will hopefully get me some full-time work.”

Blackpool FC Community Trust also offer a ‘Kickstart’ programme allowing those who successfully complete the traineeships programme the chance to continue their further learning and employment opportunities.

James Hanson, 17, has just finished the Kickstart course and is now working at Ascent Trampoline Park as a court marshal assisting customers.

James thanked Blackpool FC Community Trust for turning his life around. James said, “At 16 I went into the army and I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t know what to do with my life but I enrolled on to Blackpool FC Community Trust’s Traineeship course and learnt important life skills.

“I progressed on to the Kickstart course. It really gave me the boost I needed in life and the Trust set up interviews with different organisations. I’m now working at Ascent Trampoline Park and I’m really enjoying it. Both courses (Traineeship and Kickstart) have changed my life. Thanks to Colin and Rick for their support.”

Geoff Scott, 23, also used the Kickstart programme to gain full time employment. Following the completion of the course, the Trust set up a number of interviews for all Kickstart students. Geoff impressed local shop Co-op during an interview and was hired by them at the end of May.

Geoff is delighted with how the Kickstart got his life back on track after struggling to find full time work. Geoff said, “I’m so pleased to be working full time at Co-op and it wouldn’t have been possible without Blackpool FC Community Trust.

“They taught me key skills which I’ve taken with me into this new job and I’m really enjoying working at Co-op as I’m a big believer in quality of customer service.”

To find out more information about traineeships visit: http://www.efltrust.com/projects/traineeships/