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6 December 2016

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The Community Trust programme notes from Solihull Moors

These notes were written by the Community Trust Manager, Kevin Thoburn, for last Saturday's match programme against Solihull Moors.

The Community Trust have teamed up with the Avenue Centre for Education (ACE) in Luton for the second year running to provide our seven-week intervention programme for Luton High School boys and girls who are either at risk of, or are already, excluded from mainstream schooling and at risk of further being involved in anti-social behaviour.

The mentoring programme comprises six three-hour sessions that uses the power of football and Luton Town FC to try and affect behaviour and discipline sufficiently enough to allow ex pupils the possibility of re-admission into mainstream education. 

Community Trust staff deliver lessons divided equally between PE and classroom based workshops and participants take part in football coaching, learn about Luton Town FC as a community club and explore factors affecting community participation. 

The boys and girls involved also explore the factors associated with anti-social behaviour, school exclusion and benefit of staying in school, their aspirations, their life experiences, the importance of role models while also linking this into the importance of education in later life. 

The need to stay away from crime and the consequences of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour activities is also explored. 

We also offer the boys and girls the opportunity to visit the stadium, participate in a tour, speak with staff who have roles within football other than the players. Meet current first team players and discuss important factors of being a football player, including behaviour, discipline, team work, skills and respecting opponents. 

The project will allow young people to learn from role models in our first team and encourage them to consider the possibility of making positive life choices.

Can we make a difference in six weeks? Well you’ll be surprised how anxious excluded boys and girls are to get back into mainstream education – maybe not at their previous school who may be reluctant to accept them again, but at a new school offering a new opportunity, a new start in life. 

Football is one tool that can potentially make a difference and if you can show how disciplined professional football is with rules, codes of conduct and team discipline an essential part of everyday life for a professional player, then we hope that behaviour can be managed and influenced sufficiently to offer a better pathway for some of our younger community members.   

Community Coaching Programme – are you a potential community champion! FREE FA Level 1 Course

The Community Trust are searching for Luton’s ‘community champions in 2017’ and have again teamed up with Luton Adult Learning and the Skills Funding Agency to provide another 18 free spaces on an FA Level 1 coaching courses for local adults aged over 19 to learn coaching skills through successful completion of our coach mentoring programme. 

Our champions will then be able to deliver sports activities to members of our local community and try make a real contribution at a local level to the sports provision in Luton. 

The course will include the new FA Level 1 coaching certificate as well as First Aid and Safeguarding qualifications and aims to provide training to new coaches to enable them to deliver football and multi-sport activities which will improve their health and activity levels as well as offering them genuine future work opportunities with the Trust through formal sport qualifications gained on the project. 

To achieve this aim, the overall project is looking to increase awareness of the benefits of sporting activity together with the benefits of increased physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices and also deliver this message over a period of time through local coaches for local communities becoming role models for their local communities.

In particular (but not exclusively) we are looking for our ‘community champions’ from specifically targeted estates in Dallow and Biscot, Marsh Farm, Lewsey Farm and South Luton to work in areas which have large pockets of social deprivation with hard to reach young individuals, and particularly have significant issues around crime and anti-social behaviour. 

These estates already benefit from our weekly late night coaching sessions as part of our PL KICKS community integration project and the community learning project will look to feed coaches into this project to increase the club's presence on the estates as we look to increase the sport provision and integration activity at a very local level. 

So, if you are reading this and reckon you could become a ‘community champion’ and want to know more about our community coaching opportunities and would like to get involved, then why not give the community office a ring on 01582 737568 for a chat or email our community operations manager 

The course will run through February and March next year and is open to both men and women and we particularly welcome applicants from BME individuals as they are under-represented in this area.

Players support Children in Need at Woodlands SEN School

What a great day first teamers Jordan Cook and Liam Gooch had at Woodlands Special Educational Needs School in Marsh Farm on Children in Need Day a couple of weeks ago!  

Jordan and Liam spent over three hours with our community coaches and pupils and staff joining in with basketball matches, spot the ball, bowling competitions and an activity assembly that saw all pupils presented with ‘Hatters’ teddy bears by shirt sponsors Ssangyong. 

The pupils and staff at Woodlands raised several hundred pounds for CIN and the club would like to congratulate everyone for their efforts and for inviting us along on the day. 

Through our free school visit project we now visit Woodlands SEN School every Friday afternoon to coach the Year 10 and 11 school football team and have got to know a very special school and all of its staff and pupils really well. They are all a credit to Luton and thanks to PE teacher Ryan Cameron for all of his work.

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