Football stars 'Kickz' start new youth project
Published by Kelly Elliott for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
From l-r: Geraldine Wilcox (Derwentside Homes’ Chief Executive), Susan Gowland (Derwentside Homes’ Customer Services & Community Investment Manager), Sunderland AFC players Frazier Campbell, Ji Dong-Won and David Vaughan, Lesley Spuhler (Sunderland AF
Aspiring young footballers got the chance to quiz local premiership stars during the launch of a new youth project in County Durham this week.
Sunderland AFC players Frazier Campbell, Ji Dong-Won and David Vaughan were on hand to help launch the Kickz programme during an event at Derwentside College in Consett.
The project, which will be delivered by the SAFC Foundation and local housing association Derwentside Homes, provides a range of sport related activities for 13 to 19-year-olds, with the aim of developing young people’s potential.
Students from Derwentside College, North Durham Academy and Consett Academy got the chance to meet strikers Campbell and Dong-Won and midfielder Vaughan and ask them questions during the launch event, as well as showing off their own football skills.
The award-winning Kickz programme was originally developed by the Football Foundation, Metropolitan Police and The Premier League and uses the power of football to engage with young people in local communities.
The project has achieved impressive results in the North East and has expanded into Derwentside following the new partnership between Derwentside Homes and the SAFC Foundation.
As well as Kickz, Family Learning through Football sessions will also be offered, giving children and their parents the chance to improve communication and learn together, with training courses also offered to adults.
Derwentside Homes’ chief executive Geraldine Wilcox said: “People may wonder why a housing association would get involved in a project like this, but it is not our properties that make communities, it’s the families that live in them and so we have a vested interest in supporting sustainable neighbourhoods.
“Our tenants have told us there is a lack of facilities and activities for young people around Consett and Stanley and we hope that teaming up with the Foundation will help us provide these.
“Young people are the future and we see this as a fantastic opportunity to invest in our communities by providing activities for the young people who live in them.”
Sunderland AFC Foundation chief executive Lesley Spuhler said: “The Foundation and Derwentside Homes share many of the same aims and objectives, including creating strong and safe communities and making a difference.
“We’re really excited about bringing the project to Derwentside – the Foundation has had some fantastic results in other areas and I’m sure we will see the same success in Derwentside.”
Kickz sessions will take place weekly at Derwentside College and The Phoenix Centre in Consett and Stanley Youth Centre and St. Stephen’s Church in Stanley. For more information, call Michael Armstrong on 0191 389 4077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.