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Community Day: Billy's Story

28 March 2014

Billy's story highlights the work of our Community & Educational Trust department...

The following story showcases the fantastic work of our Community and Educational Trust, and is one of many reasons why their work is being highlighted at our game against Torquay United on Saturday.

Billy was once a disengaged young person; Four years on he is now a valued member of our team. Here is Billy’s story…

Billy first came to us aged 13. He had been struggling at school, his behaviour was an issue and he was at risk of engaging in anti-social behaviour. Billy then attended a Kickz session with some of his friends, run by Southend United Community & Educational Trust (SUCET). In his first few sessions our team noted that Billy came across as difficult to engage and as a potential problem. As Billy progressed through Kickz, his attitude improved, he matured and his self-confidence increased. 

Billy became a popular participant and and his relationship with the staff developed over time. He then attended a bespoke programme called Kicking On, which informed Billy of our positive destinations that he could access once leaving school. He became more aware of the opportunities available to him within the club. Billy started to show a particular interest in accessing an Apprenticeship.

SUCET’s outreach community engagement team then referred Billy to our Education Department, where a relevant pathway was created and offered to him. In September 2012, after completing year 11 at school, Billy enrolled at SUCET on a Foundation Learning Course. Billy studied a Certificate in Sport, a Level 1 Certificate in Employability and a Functional Skill in ICT. Billy was an excellent example of what a student should be and became a leader amongst his peers. As a reward for this, Billy was given the chance to complete his FA level 1
Certificate in Coaching Football. Billy impressed staff and after completion, progressed onto a BTEC Level 2 in Sport. Alongside this Billy took part in the National Citizen Service programme (NCS) where he was member of a team of 15, whose ultimate goal was to deliver a social action project to the community of Southend.

Billy’s endearing, cheeky and likeable personality made him a popular member of the team, and he soon became someone that staff highlighted as a potential future employee and helping to develop a future work force for the sports sector. Upon completion of his BTEC and NCS, Billy was offered, and accepted, a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Activity Leadership with SUCET.

Billy’s infectious personality and willingness to learn has helped him put his feet well and truly on the coaching career ladder. Billy now has aspirations to become a full time Community Coach and now nine months into his year long contract, not only has he already completed his entire portfolio; he has fast become a valuable member of the coaching team. He now has his sights set firmly on his next milestone, which is progressing onto a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Sport Development, and he has already been entered for his FA level 2 Coaching Certificate starting in April 2014.

Billy’s story epitomises the core values and ethos of the Southend United Community and Educational Trust, where young people come first and with the right support and a nurturing environment, young people like Billy can overcome the barriers and challenges that they face. Billy is an inspiration to his peers and a positive role model for other hard to reach young people in our community.

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