Gaining Experience through Volunteering

At Blackpool FC Sports College we offer our students the opportunity to volunteer at our programmes in order to complement their learning and build up some experience for their careers after they complete their learning. In the lead up to Volunteers Week, we spoke to two of our current students about their experience volunteering with Blackpool FC Community Trust.

Demi joined Blackpool FC Sports College in September 2021, bringing with her a keen interest in football. Whilst Demi was looking forward to representing Blackpool FC in the weekly fixtures, she was also enthusiastic about developing her coaching skills.

Early in her time with the college, Demi was offered the opportunity to volunteer on our Tiny Tangerines programme, helping with the delivery of sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

When another opportunity to volunteer with the Trust arose, Demi didn’t hesitate to put herself forward. She assisted with Football Camps over the October half term and impressed many staff members in the Community Trust. Demi said, “Since starting college in September and starting my volunteering at Tiny Tangerines and Sports Camps I’ve developed a lot of new skills and strengthened the skills I had already such as my leadership and my confidence.”

From volunteering at these sessions and camps, Demi has now gained paid employment with the Trust, working on both Tiny Tangerines and Football Camp. Demi’s tutor, Kirsten Martin, said “Demi’s confidence, organisation and session delivery have developed hugely whilst volunteering on Tiny Tangerines and Football Camp. She has worked hard and has been rewarded by gaining paid work. Demi has a bright future with Blackpool FC Community Trust.”

Zach started at Blackpool FC Sports College in September 2021 and was eager to get involved from the start. He sought out volunteer opportunities from early on in his time with the college. Zach is hoping to develop his leadership and coaching skills through his volunteering.

Zach is currently volunteering on the Tiny Tangerines programme, and thoroughly enjoys the sessions and has seen himself develop over the time he has been a part of the programme. When asked about Tiny Tangerines, Zach said “I really enjoy my time volunteering for the Trust and helping out other people. Tiny Tangerines has helped me develop and learn new skills from other coaches when delivering a session. This opportunity at Tiny Tangerines improves my experience for future coaching job opportunities.”

Having attended Sports Camp himself when he was younger, Zach now volunteers during his time off from college. His confidence and organisation have improved through his volunteering. Zach’s tutor, Josh Peat said, “Zach has become much more confident in class since volunteering at Tiny Tangerines. He contributes more to class discussions and has a lot more self-belief which has helped him succeed in his BTEC qualification.”

Zach hopes to continue to develop his leadership skills and eventually gain paid work with Blackpool FC Community Trust.

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