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Students flourish here – and pack food boxes in record time!

Our Foundation provides important life skills for young people

22 March 2022

We’ve recently been providing a platform for local students to build their futures – and they’ve in turn given us a helping hand to deliver our fantastic community projects.

The AFC Wimbledon Foundation has welcomed students from Garratt Park, a school for students with a wide range of special educational needs (SEN), to our stadium on a weekly basis. They’ve been participating in a Leadership in Sport course, as well as helping the Dons Local Action Group to continue providing food and provisions for the community.

Rhiannon Maher, who manages our National Citizens Service programme, said: “We are delighted to utilise both the power of sport and community to give young people real life skills for the future. Those interested in sport get to develop themselves at our stadium, offering an insight into the inner workings of a football club, and early access for a career they may want to pursue in the future.

“Students also get the chance to engage with the Dons Local Action Group, providing a real life example of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. This hopefully sends an inspirational message that they too can make a real difference. We are definitely helping to develop the skills and abilities of young people, as shown by our ‘superstar student’ Lee, who is now easily packing up 20-plus food boxes for families in one shift!”

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Volunteers at Dons Local Action Group said that the students from Garratt Park School were very helpful and brought a lot of awareness of issues that teenagers are currently facing.

The Leadership in Sport course has delivered fun and engaging activities for students, giving them a chance to learn leadership skills and apply their knowledge in sports and physical activity sessions. The students at Plough Lane learned about Sports Management, including the essentials of planning training sessions, managing player fitness, and the tactical side of football.

Working in groups, students have also been given the opportunity to speak about their ideas and develop confidence. Foundation Coach Jerrell said: “The sessions allow students to develop not only their leadership skills, but also their people skills as individuals, so that they are soon ready to utilise those characteristics in the real world.”

In recent times, our Foundation has continued to grow its NCS programme, helping young people to get back on track after the pandemic. Working with partner schools to deliver tailored enrichment sessions, specifically to aid the growth of pupils outside their core subject areas, the sessions are designed to provide students with knowledge that they can use in everyday life. Topics include employability, post-Covid socialisation, citizenship, health and well-being, and developing skills for independent living. Each session provides real-life examples and demonstrates how young people can apply and utilise these skills as and when needed.

For more about our NCS programme and how to get involved, visit our Foundation website.

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