This autumn saw the start of Vi-Ability’s 7th ‘Run the Club’ programme being delivered in the Greenwich Borough, this time at partner amateur sports club, Long Lane JFC.
The extension of the partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council through the councils Adult and Community Learning Framework, and has allowed us to reach more individuals like Andrew, to improve their employment prospects through sports business skills.
We first engaged with Andrew, 45 from North London through our partners at the Fulham FC Foundation. They had been working closely with him when Andrew was in prison, and pointed him towards us once he was “through the gate”. Our partners understood his needs and that he was looking for something that would help him improve his skills further in the business side of sport.
Fulham recognised that it was important for Andrew to have a new challenge on leaving the prison walls and that he was not quite ready to find work right away. That’s where we came in.
The ‘Run the Club’ programme on offer was right up Andrews street. He has a huge passion for football and wanted to put his current skills to the test in the world of sport as he hoped one day to set up his own coaching business.
The combination of learning industry knowledge like marketing and finance, with specific work-based skills like interview techniques and CV writing, was exactly the thing that would help his transition into future employment.
Andrew says “I really enjoyed working on my CV. I’ve never had a CV before and I liked going over it and finding out things that I had done in my past that previously I wouldn’t have considered to put on it – I’m over the moon about it.”
The group dynamic is always important in our programmes so that we get the best out of everybody. There are people from all sorts of backgrounds, and everyone is treated equally and their voice is always heard in group situations. Andrew went on to say, “ I didn’t think there was much I could do at my age, and something like this has come along where I love football, I live and breathe it, and, it’s a chance for me to get involved in the industry, which I thought was too late – it’s like a new start for me. “
Karl, Partnerships Manager said, “Andrew has been an absolute credit to himself over the last 2 months, his enthusiasm and motivation to the challenges he’s faced along the programme has shown that he is a natural leader and role model to his peers. Andrew is a shining example of the exceptional partnership that exists between Fulham FC Foundation and Vi-Ability. Proving that working with the Foundation during his sentence, and then once ‘ through the gate’ being able to have a continued support network, provided him with an opportunity that reflected his needs and desires.
With his newfound skills, Andrew now goes on to pursue his dream to become a football coach. Through working with us and Fulham Foundation, he has secured himself part-time work with a football club in London. He has also been able to benefit from various links within our network, and he has also been given the opportunity to complete training to become a volunteer mentor for organisation ‘Key 4 Life’. Combined with his part-time work, he will become a dedicated mentor for inmates on release, encouraging them to find a life away from crime.
The next programme being delivered in the borough, again at Long Lane JFC, starts on Monday 18th February, for 8 weeks, 2 days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays) from 10 am – 3 pm.
Should you want to sign up or refer an individual please email Karl on Karl@vi-ability.org or complete this simple form