A GROUP of volunteers representing Stoke City have arrived in South Africa to support a local initiative aimed at improving the lives of people in Stoke-on-Trent & Cape Town for the second consecutive year.
The Club have linked up with Stoke-on-Trent College once again to use the power of football and the brand of Stoke City Football Club to achieve a number of objectives which include the following:
– Create opportunities for local young people from areas of deprivation within Stoke-on-Trent to volunteer internationally
– Develop young people’s personal, social, and employability skills to help them realise their potential
– Inspire ambition in the communities within Stoke-on-Trent and Cape Town, South Africa
– Raise young people’s awareness of equality & diversity on an International level
– Improve social inclusion locally and internationally
– Promote lifelong learning
The Community Trust’s Operations Manager Ben Gibson is heading up the group which also includes Premier League Kicks coach Callum Feeney, Stoke-on-Trent College Sports Co-coordinator Calvin Austin, PREM Management Consultant Melissa Matthews and eight students from Stoke-on-Trent College who have volunteered locally for Stoke City Community Trust over the past nine months.
As well as donating sports equipment, Stoke City coaches and volunteers will deliver structured sports sessions to children at Talfalah Primary School in the city. They will also be involved in a range of other initiatives that include volunteering in a soup kitchen, the handing out of food parcels in townships in need, and a visit to Robben Island and the Apartheid Museum to enhance their understanding of equality and diversity on an international level.
Whilst out in Cape Town last year the Club delivered a coach education programme to local teachers and coaches to equip them with the tools to be able to deliver their own football based projects within their communities. Staff and volunteers are looking forward to visiting some of these projects to see what impact the programme has had.
One of those organisations, OASIS, who use football as a tool to deliver social development projects in Cape Town will host a community five-a-side football tournament which the Club’s volunteers will help to organise and deliver. The aim of the competition is to use football to bring together local communities who wouldn’t usually interact.
As part of this year’s project, volunteers have each raised £650 and have taken part in a range of fundraising activities including bag packs, raffles, cake sales and auctions during the last nine months.
The Club hopes to beat last year’s total of 125 food parcels which really do make a difference to those receiving them. Food parcels cost approximately £10.00 each and will last a family of four around three weeks.
To donate to the cause, please visit the Community Trust’s Challenge South African Virgin Money fundraising page HERE.