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Social Action with our NCS Team this Autumn.

Twenty-eight young people from the Crawley Town Community Foundations Football Education programme took part in a seven day NCS Autumn programme, which was split into three different phases, Team Bonding, Skills Development and Social Action.

The ‘Team Bonding Day’ was spent at an adventure site, building their team skills, both for the NCS programme and in the classroom.

The ‘Skills Development Days’ consisted of public speaking and money management, as well as an industry day, where they were able to speak to people who work in the sporting industry, including Crawley Town FC’s, John Yems and Joel Hannington.

For Social Action, the teams spent two days planning their projects to give back to vulnerable people in the community, with students working in teams to prepare for a Dragon’s Den presentation.

Team One, hosted a Virtual Coffee Morning for our Extra Time Hubs participants where they delivered a quiz and had the opportunity to speak to individual participants. They also conducted some befriending calls to vulnerable individuals, to check in and have a chat with them.

Talycia Nayee, NCS Team Leader said, “My team were really passionate about those who have been exposed to loneliness and vulnerability as a result of COVID-19. They used their knowledge and understanding of how football can be an effective vehicle for bringing people closer and created a really successful project as a result. They also put their public speaking skills to good use by calling a series of vulnerable individuals to check in on them. It has been really heart-warming to see the impact that the young people have had on their local community.”

Team Two set up a Pen Pal scheme for the Tackling Loneliness Together participants as a way for them to keep communication up during this period of isolation. They also put together activity packs for them including crosswords, word searches, sudokus and quizzes. Additionally, the participants organised fifty “cream tea packs” to be sent out to vulnerable individuals throughout the week.

Both teams had the opportunity to deliver sessions at Crawley Town Flyers and in preparation for these sessions participants completed a disability sport awareness session with Ian Burlinson, Out There Sports and Leisure Development Officer. Both teams were really successful, and really helped engage the participants of these sessions, as well as gaining some important coaching skills.

Ian said this about the sessions, “For many of the students this was their first-time coaching and they did well, making sure the players were fully involved and able to take something away from the session. You could really see the student’s confidence growing throughout, helping to make the session enjoyable for the players.”

Ellie Smith, NCS Team Leader said, ‘The programme this year has really shown how departments within Crawley Town Community Foundation can work together to produce some amazing and very worthwhile work. Both teams have impacted the lives of over 100 individuals in the community through their outreach work, as well as creating something sustainable that can be used for future participants within the Tackling Loneliness Project. This is extra important at the moment with a second lockdown in the midst, to protect people’s mental health and wellbeing - the students have really set the precedent for next year’s programme!’

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