Preston North End Community and Education Trust has recruited four new members of staff under the government’s Kickstart scheme.
Kickstart is offering six-month work placement job roles to young people aged 16 to 24-years-old who are claiming Universal Credit – providing youngsters with opportunities to build their skills in the workplace and developing their employability skills.
Preston North End is one of 65 EFL clubs taking part in the scheme, which has created tens of thousands of job roles for young people, working in a variety of positions across multiple industries.
The Trust has recruited four Community Sports Coaches to deliver on its community health and wellbeing initiatives across Preston and the surrounding areas.
David Berry, James Galt, Nicole Collins and Reece Howarth will deliver on the Premier League Primary Stars, Premier League Kicks, Secondary School Provision, the FA Talent Hub, FIT FANS, Wildcats, Walking Football and United Together programmes.
All four young people will now spend the next six months with the Trust to develop their coaching skills and interpersonal qualities, providing them with the confidence and knowledge to gain further employment.
Head of Education Liam Sealey said: “We are pleased to welcome David, James, Nicole and Reece to the Trust and look forward to having them assisting our delivery out in the community across our provision.
“All four of our Community Sports Coaches have many fantastic qualities and we hope to help them develop further during their time with the Trust, both with the quality of their delivery and on a personal level as well.
“As the official charity of Preston North End, we see it as our duty to support all members of the community. We strive to improve educational attainment and employability in the local community and hope to continue that by providing these four talented individuals with the opportunity to gain experience and support them in their pursuit of full-time employment.
“Our services connect people from all walks of life, and that includes the coaches, as well as our participants. We want to support the Community Sports Coaches to achieve their goals and make positive changes in their lives through their employment with PNECET and look forward to seeing their development over the next six months.”
David said: “I’ve always had a fascination with coaching and teaching people and making sure they can get the best out of any situation they’re given, even if they’ve got a disability or something that inhibits them playing.
“When I played football, I had ‘pigeon toes’ – my feet pointed inwards. I had to train and train and train, just to condition my body to stop doing that. I want to apply the same chances I was given to other people and maybe even [help them go] further them than I was able to go.
“It feels really good because I’ve never really been given much of an opportunity when it comes to coaching. Being involved in a team as big as Preston North End, it just feels pretty ecstatic, because I’ve always wanted to coach people and give them an opportunity. Just being given the opportunity to try that feels great.”
James Galt has coached across PNECET provision previously and volunteered for the Trust.
He said: “It’s a little nerve-wracking, I don’t know what to expect for the near future, but it’s all a new, learning experience.
“I’ve done a lot of volunteering. I just want to build more confidence up. It is a lacking issue for me, but hopefully it will build up during the course.”
Nicole added: “I’m excited to get the chance to work in a football setting and work in the community.
“I’m looking to work in different areas and with the different types of people so I can better understand where, in the future, which areas I would like to work in.”
Reece Howarth graduated from the Trust’s post-16 education programme and has also continued to coach and volunteer on PNECET programmes.
Reece said: “It’s an exciting thing to start with, progressing from the education programme and through the casual work I’ve done with the schools and on the Kicks programme, to actually gain a lot of hours in different roles.
“It’s a progression from what I’ve done – learning more about the programmes, learning more about the coaching, and learning how I can do things differently.”
For more information about the Kickstart scheme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.