Fuelling Ambition in Lancashire

Street Soccer Academy’s origins are very firmly rooted around the city of Manchester with the majority of our growth and expansion┬ásince 2005 taking place in the county of Greater Manchester. Just over twelve months ago however, the first SSA regional outside of Greater Manchester was planted in the neighbouring county of Lancashire. The new venture followed an approach from Community Solutions NW Ltd regarding a partnership to compliment the excellent work they were already undertaking in Lancashire.

Accrington copy 2SSA Accrington commenced operation at the tail-end of 2012 utilising the state-of-the-art facilities at Accrington & Rossendale College. The partnership with CSNW has proven to be invaluable in breaking ground into the county, not only because of the excellent wrap-around support provided to all service users, but in the provision of localised knowledge. Although Greater Manchester and Lancashire are neighbours the demographic of service users has proven to be very different and CSNW’s local knowledge in best serving their needs has resulted in the rapid establishment of a thriving regional centre.

Lee & Scott
The success of SSA Accrington has been highlighted this week with three of the centre’s service users obtaining an FA Level 1 Coaching Certificate via the Lancashire FA. Scott Marsh & Lee Wilcock along with Neil Sharpe all completed the course, obtaining the necessary standard to now be officially classified as FA Qualified Coaches. This qualification comes on the back of voluntary work Scott and Lee have been doing on behalf of CSNW and with East Lancs Food Bank.

For Scott and Lee, in particular, the progress made is a remarkable success story and demonstrates perfectly what sets SSA apart in terms of their approach and how the wrap around support provided to all service users has a major impact on their development. Scott and Lee first registered as service users with SSA around eleven months ago entering our Education Programme.

Dave Scholes SSA Accrington Regional Manager

Here they were given an opportunity to develop basic work skills and to formulate an action plan with their regional Manager, Dave Scholes. On completing the twelve-week education programme both lads were provided with the opportunity to enter Level 2, the Practical Experience Programme and then twelve weeks later, Level 3 the Skills Development Programme. Completing our programme, obtaining a professional qualification, undertaking voluntary work and receiving 24/7 support from a dedicated team of volunteers, now mean that both Scott and Lee are hardly recognisable to the two young men who joined us eleven months ago. Both are definitely more ‘work-ready’ and have a confidence about them that was not evident in their early days with us.

The solid partnership developed with CSNW, backed up by numerous success stories like Scott & Lee’s enforces further Street Soccer Academy’s belief that they are set apart in their work with disadvantaged individuals. The support offered by the charity goes over and above diversionary activity or skills development. Their team of locally sourced volunteers means that all SSA’s service users receive support that is accessible around the clock and offered indefinitely.

Street Soccer Academy’s Regional Centre model is available as a franchise package. For more information in developing an SSA Regional Centre in your area please write to us at info@streetsocceracademy.co.uk or telephone 01204 417846

CSNW LtdCommunity Solutions North West is an innovative social enterprise. Their aim is to empower local people to meet local needs within the communities of Lancashire and beyond; promoting interdependence, confidence and self-esteem. With a holistic approach to support and a determination to offer bespoke solutions to a variety of community needs, CSNW are committed to offering hope and opportunity to local people. They are people focused and continue to create ways in which local residents can be supported within their own communities – for more information check out www.csnw.co.uk

Author Simon Murphy

Simon is Street Soccer Academy's Chief Operating Officer and is co-founder of the organisation as a limited company and UK registered charity. He is responsible for the development of Street Soccer Academy's corporate brand and acquisition of the prestigious Football Association Charter Standard. Prior to involvement with Street Soccer Academy Simon was a director of Ambassadors in Sport and has a wealth of experience in grassroots football, as a player, coach, club chairman and having worked widely across the UK, USA, Europe and Asia. He has a vast knowledge of running major tournaments and festivals, having organised the National Christian Football Festival for a number of years and as an executive comittee member of the National Christian Cup. Simon is also responsible for devising the unique Soccer 24 fundraising concept, now used to raise funds for charities worldwide.

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