On Friday 8th of March Sir David met with three young apprentices, Travis, Lucian and Ashley whilst visiting the Achievement Through Football charity in Southend.
Established in 2012, ATF tackles issues around broken families, gangs and knife crime by providing a secure safe place to meet and mentoring to encourage upwards social mobility.
The programme funded by the National Lottery has enabled ATF for the first time to secure full time staff. It provides young people from estates in Southend with the opportunity to support the project with paid work and apply for training apprenticeships through The Core Coach scheme which is run by the Royal Foundation.
Travis, Lucian and Ashley are three young people who have previously attended ATF sessions. They now support these sessions and also work out of the Hub in Southend. The apprenticeships are offered to young people who have been rehabilitated through the ATF scheme and can provide inspiration to new members.
One of the apprentices, Quinton, received the Jack Petchey Award in March. He earned the award for his good behaviour at ATF’s boxing sessions and his positive approach to school work. The Jack Petchey award scheme enables young people to vote for winners and receive a prize of £250 to be spent for benefits for the wider group.
David Sollis ATF’s chair said: "working in partnership with Active Essex, our apprenticeship scheme enables us to make a real difference to young people’s lives. By providing training and qualifications not only are they able to help out on our sessions they have the opportunity for paid employment at the end of the scheme. The scheme is amazing, run by the Royal Foundation, they have already met several members of the royal family and are volunteering at the Cricket World Cup later this year".
Sir David said of the apprentices and ATF: “ATF enriches young people’s lives and provides them with opportunities they would not otherwise have. It was a pleasure to meet with the apprentices who stand testament to not only ATF but to their own hard work”.