Funding pledge for partnership
A partnership between Forth Valley College and the Falkirk Football Community Foundation (FFCF) is set to benefit from the Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity programme.
Centre Forward – Making Your Next Move, has been awarded £51,600 to help roll out a two year long initiative designed to help young people (aged between 16-24) with learning disabilities achieve their aspirations, develop existing skills and improve confidence through using sport and physical activity to deliver positive life changes.
FVC’s Department of Business and Communities – who have extensive expertise in this area – have teamed up with FFCF who will use the ‘Development through Sport’ model to help accelerate learning and development as well as promote self-esteem and confidence.
Combined with certificated SQA units, the project will offer a comprehensive suite of skills that will enable each young person taking part to overcome their individual barriers to progression. All of the classroom based workshops are coupled with practical sport/physical activity sessions to enhance skills-for-work, decision-making, problem-solving and team work, whilst enhancing feelings of belonging, contribution and achievement.
In addition, young people taking part will be enrolled as FVC students and will therefore benefit from the range of student resources available, including the Learning Resource Centre, Student Services and on-campus gym.
The Changing Lives Through Physical Activity grant programme is supported by The Robertson Trust, The Scottish Government, sportscotland and Spirit of 2012. Launched in April 2018, the £1million fund will benefit a total of 17 projects nationally, with each receiving between £42,151 and £69,985 over a period of two years. Each of the projects will intentionally use the power of sport to effect positive change in local communities.
Sport Minister Joe Fitzpatrick said: “Sport has the power to change lives; we see that every day in communities across the country. That is why programmes such as this are so important. This funding will support projects that specifically use sport to deliver real change in communities across the country, helping health and wellbeing, developing skills and bringing communities together.
Debbie Lye, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012, said: “We are thrilled to be supporting this programme that will benefit young people with learning disabilities in such tangible ways. As well as offering participants the chance to gain really useful qualifications, it will strengthen and deepen their community links, helping them gain confidence as well. We hope it sets them up for a positive and very rewarding career in sports coaching.”
David Stewart, Community Manager at the Falkirk Foundation, said: “The Falkirk Foundation is delighted to be working with Forth Valley College and all of the funding partners on this extremely worthwhile programme.
“As the community arm of Falkirk Football Club, we use the power of football, sport, professional role-models and a modern sports stadium as catalysts to create life changing opportunities for people of all ages by removing barriers, promoting participation, improving health and enhancing learning experiences.
“We believe that sport can inspire people to make changes to their own lives, to raise aspirations and ambitions and to open their minds to new possibilities. We look forward to working with young people with learning disabilities and to creating a mutually beneficial learning environment where participants and employers can educate each other on the particular barriers they face and strengths they possess, in order to improve future opportunities.”
Jacqueline McArthur, Head of the Department of Business and Communities, said: “We are very excited about the ‘Centre Forward – Making Your Next Move’ initiative and feel it has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people with learning difficulties. I am very proud of my colleagues who have worked very hard on developing the course and sourcing the funding in partnership with the Falkirk Football Community Foundation, and am confident that working together, the results of the project will be very positive. We can’t thank the Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity programme enough, for their generous donation and we will make sure the money is put to good use in helping to transform the lives of young people in the Falkirk area.”
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