Former Guild Lodge service user John has progressed from accessing the Trust’s weekly football session at the medium secure mental health unit to now supporting multiple PNECET programmes in a volunteering capacity.
The Trust began working in partnership with Guild Lodge, in Goosnargh, in March 2019, offering football and multi-skills sessions at the medium secure mental health unit’s outdoor facility for its service users each week, before the pandemic.
John had the opportunity to gain qualifications through PNECET as a result of engaging with the Trust’s weekly session while he was a service user of Guild Lodge.
Since being discharged from Guild Lodge, John has continued to form a part of PNECET provision, but is now seeing the work of the Trust unfold from an alternate viewpoint as a volunteer.
He has volunteered on programmes such as PL Kicks and Walking Football, allowing him to see how the benefits of physical activity can benefit and inspire multiple generations of PNE supporters and members of the local community.
“I was at Guild Lodge for just over three-and-a-half years,” said John. “PNECET came down on a Friday to help us train for tournaments. Tom came down and he saw how I am with the others and asked if I wanted to start volunteering for PNECET.
“I thought about it and thought I would do it to help give back to the community and to hopefully tell my story about going through mental health, to working with PNE, and going back into Guild.”
John’s primary motivation to volunteer for the Trust is to help young people choose the right path, but he has also now seen first-hand the benefits of programmes such as Walking Football for older members of the local community.
“The main reason I want to do it is to give back to the community; get children off the streets and into sports and not get in trouble with the police,” he continued.
“I’ve started doing Callon Kicks and hopefully I can start doing more Kicks sessions.
“With Walking Football, I do enjoy it – it does get a bit competitive at times! But it’s all good fun. It helps keep the older generation into sports, fitness, and to socialise with their mates instead of sitting at home.”
📽️ 𝗠𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗻 🤝— Preston North End Community and Education Trust (@pnecommunity) June 1, 2021
John has progressed from accessing our weekly football session at Guild Lodge, to now supporting multiple #PNECET programmes in a volunteering capacity! 👏
John's story ➡️ https://t.co/U32jvlfOE6#pnefc #VolunteersWeek #NationalVolunteersWeek @EFLTrust pic.twitter.com/pjM4SI1ioB
But as well as supporting others, John has recognised that volunteering is aiding his own personal development.
“It’s helped me mature. It’s something I enjoy, which is a bonus. I’m doing it for myself, getting more confident, and helping children back on to the straight and narrow.”
The Trust would like to thank of all its volunteers for their continued hard work and dedication across all of its programmes!
If you are interested in volunteering opportunities with the Trust, or for other enquiries about PNECET provision, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.