Youth Development Week: KickStarter Success

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The government’s KickStarter program is now over. The program aimed to put people between the ages of 16 and 24 and benefiting from universal credit into the labor market and to develop their skills and experience for six months.

500 young people had the opportunity to work in an EFL club or club community organization through the Kickstarter programme. Over 65 EFL clubs, including Forest Green Rovers, have signed up to take part.

The FGR community accepted three KickStarter internships. Two managed to find alternative jobs and training – while Sam stayed on and got a term contract as sustainability champion and administrative assistant after her Kickstarter placement ended in September.

Sam started with the FGR Community in March 2022 following a meeting with Community Manager Sarah Urquhart at the Stroud Job Centre. Sam struggled to find a job after graduating from college during the pandemic. She was introduced to Sarah through their job coach at the job center.

Reflecting on his experience, Sam said, “I was nervous about starting my KickStarter internship. I wasn’t sure if I would be accepted in a football environment as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

“But I quickly felt welcome at FGR and they embraced my identity. I was able to use my experience to help with the Rainbow Laces campaign and educate my colleagues on LGBTQ+ issues and terms.

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“I’ve been through so much during my time here. I planned activities for our camps, helped out on game days, learned about finances and created content for our social media. I’ve helped promote the club’s sustainability philosophy and made a difference in my local community – and the community’s trust has helped boost my confidence massively.

Sarah, FGR Community Manager, said: “Sam was one of seven KickStarters in the EFL network of 72 clubs where the club’s community organizations appointed sustainability champions to help promote environmental sustainability and mainstream sustainability. Section 15 of our Capacity Code of Practice The Kickstart program was a great initiative, and we were thrilled to be part of it so soon after the pandemic, when so many young people were affected.

“As a charity we are committed to supporting local people in our community, promoting education and employability and the Kickstart program has provided us with an additional way to support the Trust and make a difference for a young job seeker.

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“We have offered Sam a placement with the charity and are committed to ensuring that this opportunity launches his career and we are delighted to have retained him. Sam has grown as a person throughout throughout the placement and integrated perfectly into the team within a few weeks.

“Sam has stepped in at a time of transition for the Trust and has recently supported me as Community Manager with administration, reporting and facilitation of communications and events. Going forward, she will be supporting some of our key programs such as Premier League Primary Stars and Premier League Kicks and our FGR Ambassador program, in addition to the excellent work it has undertaken on equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as the environment and durability.

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Ben Fisher, Sustainability Coordinator for the EFL Trust, said: “In addition to the great work Sam has done at FGR Community, they have been part of a team of Kickstarters across the country that encourages sustainability. environment in club community organizations.

“Having qualified and motivated people like Sam in place has created real successes in our network and helped EFL Trust get off to a good start on its environmental journey. I am delighted that Sam is continuing this work now that his placement Kickstart is complete.”

KickStart gave young job seekers the opportunity to get started and gain invaluable experiences and skills in the workplace. For more information about our work promoting education and employability within the FGR community, please contact community@fgr.co.uk.

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