Monday, 21 May 2012

Unity In the Community - Stratford!!

Unity in the community is finally up and running in Stratford Upon-Avon, aiming to engage young people to get involved in sport in their community, but also to become leaders for their community.

The project also has links to employment, work experience and volunteering roles to further support the development of young people. In particular, the project targets young people that are not in education, employment or training, or generally at some form of social disadvantage.


Unity in the Community is ran in three stages, the first of which has just begun in the Bancroft, Bishopton and Clopton areas of Stratford consisting of football and multi-sport activities for young people to play as they wish. Activities last up to 7 weeks and the project finishes with a Tournament (See Flier for details) for teams from all over Stratford to enter!


So far we have had a fantastic response over this from both young people and people that work with them, alongside local authorities who have also been very supportive! We need people from all community organisations and individuals across stratford to get and stay involved with this to help young people utilise this opportunity to its potential!



In stage 2 Young leaders will complete Sports Leaders Level 1 and 2 Qualifications, which hold UCAS and QCF points and are nationally recognised qualifications, leading Higher Sports Leader Award (Please see http://www.sportsleaders.org/) of the project in order to develop their leadership skills and give them the opportunity to coach others in their community!



This part of the project will last 10 weeks for each qualification and will involve a community event (football tournament which will be publicised shortly) for young people to showcase their skills!




















Director Joe Graham states:

"This was the route that helped me into sports coaching, i started off as a 14 year old with very little self esteem and always in trouble, but through sport and coaching i learnt discipline, morales and values that i have stuck to ever since. The most rewarding thing for me, is when i see the people that are making the same progress that i began making 10 years ago, and getting so much respect off their community, i just wish i had opportunities like this back then". Stacey Doughty



The project is also set up to provide ongoing support for young people, and a budget is allocated to ensure that young people that come through the project can benefit from additional training such as workshops, sport specific or refereeing qualifications.




This is very flexible and will be worked out on an individual basis. We are also aiming to run community sessions at by the end of the project, where young people will run sessions in their and others' communities to build cohesion between themselves and other generations.

Perhaps the strongest element of the project, is the links that Support Sport have to other organisations within the community, supporting young people to use their skills to find work, volunteering, placements and other support networks!

Participants comments (please watch this space as participants will be adding to it regularly!)

" Since the project unity in the community i have been given many opportunities to develop as a coach and a person. Since the project i have only grown in confidence as Onside coaching have gave me opportunites to work for them and i have also been working in schools and other sports projects in the community ! "

"The activities we are doing are fun and they are centred round us so we can enjoy it"


Finally, Support Sport would like to thank the Stratford Town Trust, Orbit Heart of England Housing Association, TOMS Fund, Stratford Town Council and Warwickshire County Council. This is not only for their funding and financial support, but for their tireless support in supporting us to get the project off the ground.

Support Sport are also looking for partners within the project to support young people from all types of backgrounds to get involved. We are already working with the youth service, but with the cuts that Stratford have faced in this department we are looking for all kinds of organisations to come forward from potential employers, organisations willing to take on someone on work experience, organisations seeking volunteers or that have volunteers that could contribute to the project.

Please contact Joe Graham to find out more details (07801 597666 or supportsport@live.co.uk).