To celebrate 10 years of the Premier League Community Fund, we are joining clubs across the country in commending the inspiring participants and facilitators of our projects.
The Premier League Community Fund (PLCF) was established in 2010 to support the delivery of community outreach projects. Their 10 Year Anniversary Awards recognise the significant impact that this work has had on local communities.
Five inspiring participants and five dedicated project facilitators have been chosen as our recipients of these prestigious awards – let’s meet them.
Premier League Primary Stars Awards
Our Premier League Primary Stars work with 5 to 11 year olds in schools across Southampton. They support teachers with PE delivery and give pupils tools to improve their English, Maths and PSHE.
Our participant winner is Eric Chiuwa. Currently a Year 6 student, he is a leading example to his classmates in his attitude towards PE and his other lessons. He embodies the core Southampton FC values of Inspiration and Ambition through his role as a Sports Ambassador, and has inspired many of his peers to adopt a more positive approach to learning in school.
Our facilitator winner is our Primary Stars Officer Dan Stobbart. He has developed strong and lasting relationships with both staff and pupils in every school he has worked in. He is a fantastic role model for young people to be honest, caring and confident.
Premier League Kicks Awards
Kicks is our youth engagement programme for 8 to 18 year olds. It strives to bring young people together through football, all while kicking down the barriers in their relationship with authority figures.
Our participant winner is Kieran Foster. Kieran has been taking part in Kicks since 2016. Always a welcoming presence to newcomers, he has become a central part in the sessions by helping referee younger participants and arrange teams with the coaches. Kieran’s dedication was noted and we’re pleased to say that he’s recently joined our team as a casual member of staff.
Our facilitator winner is Jake Webb. A Kicks alumni himself, Jake started his journey with the project in 2014 but has since turned from participant to facilitator as one of our casual coaches. He is dedicated to developing positivity and improving self-esteem in all the young people he works with.
Premier League Inspires Awards
PL Inspires is an education-based programme delivered within Polygon and Compass schools. Young people within these schools face a variety of ever-evolving challenges. Each school has differing priorities including pastoral care, individual mentoring and small group interventions where our staff respond to such needs.
Year 9 student Harrison Ballard is our participant winner. 1:1 mentoring has helped Harrison change his disruptive behaviour and make better choices at school. He has matured in the way he deals with challenges and there has been a noticeable change in his attitude to learning.
Our facilitator winner is PL Inspires Coordinator Ben Keens. Ben has developed strong relationships with local headteachers, delivering support that meets the needs of both schools and individual pupils. His passion for helping young people is reflected in his dedicated approach to both planning and delivery.
Premier League PFA Community Fund Awards
Our projects make sure everybody has a positive place in the community, where needs are understood and talents are recognised.
Our participant winner is Courtney White. Courtney has cerebral palsy and engaged with our Saints Works project in the hope she could land her dream job. We helped build her confidence so that when she secured an apprenticeship as a care home support worker, she was ready to get stuck in. Courtney is now making a big difference to vulnerable people during this difficult time.
Our facilitator winner is Lisa Latona. As the Project Officer for Saints4Sport, Lisa is committed to supporting vulnerable adults across the city. She strives to give her participants the purpose and structure to endure extremely challenging circumstances, such as homelessness, mental health issues and substance abuse. Lisa is a vital part of many people’s journey to get their lives back on track.
Transformational Journey Awards
Across all our projects, we strive to transform people’s lives, using sport and exercise to support positive change. Across the 10 years since we’ve been supported by the PLCF, these two winners have embarked on hugely transformational journeys with us, making a big impact in their community along the way.
Our participant winner is Jack Dyer. Originally a Saints Works participant, Jack joined Saints Foundation unsure of what the future looked like for him. He worked hard to gain an apprenticeship with our Health team and now works to support older adults across the city. He has since become an Assistant Project Officer, giving his time to help older people stay active and connected during these unprecedented times.
Our facilitator winner is Jazz Bhatti. A passion for the city of Southampton runs deep in the veins of our Fundraising and Partnership Manager! Jazz joined the Foundation in 2005 and has worked tirelessly to connect supporters and donors with our work ever since. As he celebrates his 15th year with us in 2020, he’s a very worthy recipient of this award.