Jimmy, like most young people has had a hard time throughout Covid-19. He found himself distancing himself from education and becoming isolated. We identified Eversley as a perfect venue where we as a Trust could attend and make a difference amongst those living in this deprived area of Basildon. Eversley estate is a known area where a lot of crime and anti-social behaviour take place.
With an initial 6 week booking in place our members of staff came across Jimmy. Jimmy and his friend for the first two weeks were the only two young people attending the session. Along with our members of staff, Jimmy had worked hard to promote these sessions and get young people to attend as he was keen to have a venue where he can turn up each week and play football. Following the hard work, we now have 72 young people that have attended the venue with an average of 35-40 young people attending weekly. This Eversley venue is our biggest facility across our weekly PL Kicks sessions and is great to see that this young person has had an impact in helping us to build this up.
“Alex Clark – Southend United Community Coach – Seeing the growth that has occurred throughout the number of sessions here at Eversley has been incredible. I have attended these sessions from week one until now and you can see how much the young people love attending. The impact we are having here amongst the community is great to see, the enjoyment when playing football is something that I am most proud of. They are a great bunch of lads, and I am glad they feel like they can attend weekly and play football”.
With the focus back on Jimmy, following regular conversations with him and the other lads. We noticed that not many young people had education sorted for the academic year ahead. We decided to act upon this and get Ross Johnson, head of our college programme to attend and give a talk upon about what he could offer these young people and what they could get out of coming to our Southend United CET scholarship programme.
“Ross Johnson – Head of College Programme – Having access to these young people was a good recruitment tool, they were all very engaged and seemed keen to join our college programme”.
Jimmy has since signed up for our college programme and will be starting here in September 2021. He was very unsure on what he was going to do in education and did not have anything sorted. With the help of our Southend United coaches and Ross, Jimmy now has his education pathway sorted through him attending the Premier League Kicks sessions at Eversley.
As you will be able to see via the short film attached below, Jimmy still has some confidence issues but has attended every session at Eversley since they started which is incredible and he has come a long way to even be able to talk in front of a camera. The way he has grown as a person has been fantastic to witness and we hope that this will continue with him still attending Eversley weekly and attending our college programme.
“Carol Hardy – Eversley Leisure Centre – It has been brilliant having Southend United community here. They put on amazing sessions for young people to attend! We have had many issues with kids trying to break in and access our 4G. However, with this here there seems to be none of it as they know they have Monday evenings to attend. Thank you!”