Earlier this year Vi-Ability secured funding from the Active Inclusion Fund. Managed by Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) supported by funding from European Social Funds, the Active Inclusion fund aims to reduce economic inactivity in Wales and, improve the employability of disadvantaged people furthest from the labour market.
Vi-Ability’s ‘Run The Club’ programme was run in partnership with long standing partners Haverfordwest County AFC and saw some positive success stories.
Jessica completed the ‘Run The Club’ course this April. She was unemployed with 2 young children and had not worked for over 3 years. Her confidence was low, and she felt like she was not well equipped for the working world. She signed up to the programme to use it as a stepping stone into work, learn new skills and gain more knowledge on how clubs are run.
Jessica said of the programme, ‘’ I was really worried about ‘’exams’’ and thought they would be very hard but our trainer Jo made the environment really relaxed but engaging too. It was interesting to think about the type of community activities we could run, the things we learnt at the club could easily be put into practice and we are planning a community activity day at Haverfordwest AFC this summer. I was surprised at how as soon as I put my mind to it, I could achieve so much, in only 8 weeks, it’s really given me a boost!’’
Lead trainer Jo Price commented, ‘’Jessica really benefitted from the 1-1 support, we were able to highlight key strengths and weaknesses and put an action plan in place. Overall she made lots of progress, particularly with basic skills for work. Gaining these qualifications has made her confidence grow and she is more willing to go and apply for jobs.
Adam also completed the programme at Haverfordwest having heard about the it through his local football club. He struggled at school and was often in trouble finding it very hard to engage in formal education. When he saw the programme advertised, he really didn’t know what to expect, slightly apprehensive he met with trainer Jo, who took him through the 8 week programme step by step.
Adam said ‘’The programme allowed me to go at my own pace. I was worried as I have a disability and struggle with movement of my arm and hand. I was surprised how inclusive the programme was, and how much I enjoyed it! It challenged me in a way that was engaging and made me think more around certain topics, like using sport to engage better with the community.’’
Adam has made significant improvements over just 8 weeks. The ‘Run The Club’ programme helped him to socialise with new people and increase his knowledge of how clubs can be more commercially minded. He is now volunteering and has a job at the academy. Due to his commitment on the course, Wayne earned a place on Vi-Ability’s 2 week European work placement, where he will put his new skills into practice at partner football club, FC Espanyol.
Kelly Davies, Founder and CEO of Vi-Ability says ‘We currently have programme’s in Cardiff and Pembs and are looking forward to expanding our ‘Run the Club’ Programme in Conwy in the North and Torfaen in East Wales. This is made possible through the Active Inclusion Fund. We really want to continue our work in helping those furthest from the job market, helping people realise their potential and the progress they can achieve through our programmes, as well as helping the clubs in providing this transformative environment. We want our message to resonate with the people at the heart of the community, everyone should be seen as asset, having a pivotal role in their community.
Click here to find a course near you http://www.vi-ability.org/current-programmes/