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Making a difference through Football

24th January 2017

Making a difference through football

Community has recently established a working partnership with Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT), the UK’s leading football community trust, with the aim to create positive opportunities for disadvantaged individuals out of work or struggling through hard times.

Community is providing financial support to CACT to help fund employment opportunities for two young people over the next year.

CACT started as 1 staff member with a bag of footballs and a telephone and has grown into an organisation that employs 120 staff, has a pool of 150 casual coaches and engages with approximately 10,000 people on a weekly basis.

Community is keen to begin engaging locally and nationally to expand the coverage and knowledge of this great trust.

Covering 7 different strands of support, including social inclusion, disability support, health & wellbeing and equality & diversity, CACT has been able to change the lives of many disadvantaged individuals such as Harley Bagnall-Taylor, one of the youngest siblings from a family of 5 who has always struggled with health issues and precarious accommodation.

After taking up volunteering opportunities offered to him by CACT through the local youth service, he has gained skills and competencies allowing him to assist families in similar situations with support and advice.

Sandra Kwiek, 19, moved to England from Poland aged 1. Being a carer for her young siblings and leaving school with limited qualifications has been a challenge, but now she has graduated from voluntary to paid youth work with CACT her passion has become her job.

John Park, Assistant General Secretary of Community, said;

“We’re really excited to be working with CACT and supporting young people like Harley and Sandra.

“Football brings communities together and can provide opportunities that wouldn’t normally be available otherwise.

“That’s what this project aims to do – support those who are out of work and potentially find them suitable employment in the future.”

Marc Leckie, Director of Youth and Inclusion at CACT said:

“We’re passionate about identifying and nurturing local talent within our workforce. It’s vitally important that community workers reflect and understand the people they’re trying to work with.

“We’re proud to be working with Community to make this belief a reality in South East London.