Recognising the impact of COVID on young people’s mental health, Walsall Football Club Community Foundation Programme upskilled staff to equip them to support children and young people participating in their activities post-pandemic.
All Community Programme delivery staff, including coaches, completed a Level 2 in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health. They also completed other health-based and business administration courses relevant to their role.
Adam Davy, Community Director, said: “We are always looking to grow and improve as a Community Programme, and the courses provided a great opportunity for staff to continue their professional development. They connected us as a team and kept everyone engaged in their work.
“Mental health, in particular, has been and continues to be a key issue for many people. It has been great to offer our coaches more knowledge on what is a complex and important issue.”
Other Community Programme staff completed different courses relevant to their role including:
- Level 2 Understanding Nutrition and Health
- Level 2 Understanding Care and Management of Diabetes
- Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Team Leading
- Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Business Administration
Having recruited 10 local young people through the national Kickstart training scheme, their trainees are also making use of distance learning courses.
Adam continued: “Coming out of lockdown, we became aware of how the pandemic was affecting the career changes of young people coming out of school and college. The Kickstart scheme helped to stabilise our staff structure and give our trainees meaningful work experience to set them up for the future.”
He added: “These courses greatly support our trainees’ skills development. Instead of just reading a document about GDPR and safeguarding, they can contextualise specific topics, using real-life examples to better understand these important areas of a business. It’s helping them become more rounded employees able to progress here with us at the club as apprentices or move on to other positions elsewhere.”
“Overall, this training is part of long-term investment in our staff and the wider communities we support.”