After joining up to the national initiative to help its staff support and connect with local communities in and around the Wigan borough, we have loved to find out stories of our staff volunteering in their local communities.
The Good for ME Good for FE campaign aims to generate £1m of social value via a sustainable programme of community action including volunteering, fundraising and charitable partnerships.
Over 100 colleges have already joined the campaign which builds on the huge success of FE Foodbank Friday. This saw colleges around the country come together during the pandemic to raise over £47,000 and collect more than 20,000 items for local foodbanks.
Assistant Principal, Paul Heald
Paul has been volunteering for three years at Leigh United Under 11’s.
He contributes around five hours a week of his time coaching the youngsters and enjoys witnessing the impact on them, not only as footballers but also as young people.
Paul has a coaching background having worked at a professional club in the USA many years ago and liked the idea of getting involved again and after a chance opportunity to help another parent who was running the Leigh United team, he has been involved ever since.
“Initially it was to support another parent who was running the team. My son plays for the team, so I was going anyway, so I thought I’d help when he was asking for volunteers. Since then I have taken the team on myself and receive support from another parent.
"I love working with them and building them as individuals, the smiles on their faces is something that money cannot buy. I try to take elements of my experiences from work when working with the children, to develop them, not only as footballers, but more importantly as young people.”
Health & Social Care Lecturer, Christopher Kennedy
Christopher has volunteered in his local community for over ten years working with youngsters for the Winstanley Warriors under 18 football club.
The FA chartered club is inclusive and is based in a socially disadvantaged area. Chris coaches the lads every Tuesday evening and is with them for match day on Saturdays.
“It’s rewarding and it all started when I brought my young lad at the age of six and ended up helping out and over ten years later I am still doing it.”
The club ensures youngsters in the area have a sports facility and opportunities to play for everyone. The club has even had some move onto professional clubs such as Fleetwood and Morecambe.
“It’s a benefit for the young people in this area, not just from a football point of view but the social aspect too! It’s also good for to keep active and it has been nice to see them develop and grow into respectful young men and be part of something positive each week.”