Wednesday 8th August 2012
As part of the new youth provision commissioned by Royal Greenwich in partnership with the Trust over 80 sessions a week are currently being delivered across youth hubs and satellite sessions.
The satellite sessions are delivered over all areas of the borough. One of these sessions uses the astro turf pitch at Coldharbour Leisure Centre to engage young people from the southern region of the Royal Greenwich every Saturday afternoon.
Ben Hunt aged 10 has been attending the sessions at Coldharbour for a number of weeks and the improvement in Ben’s confidence has been significant.
Ben responded to the flyers advertising the sessions and has been brought to Coldharbour each week by a family friend.
Mum Nicola has been very impressed with the impact the session has had on Ben, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, she commented, ‘I went along to watch the session myself this week as I wanted to see if Ben’s condition was holding him back at all. It made my day when the Trust’s coaches told me that Ben had totally fitted in with the other children. Ben thoroughly enjoys his time at the session and is learning and growing in confidence’.
The session, which is funded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and delivered in partnership with Coldharbour Leisure Centre, aims to engage young people over the weekend period when there have been regular reports of anti- social behavior. Two Trust coaches work to improve the football skills of those attending and also link in codes based around good behavior when working with the young people acting as positive mentors along the way.
Ben himself also acknowledges the value of the sessions, he said, ‘Since I have been training with Charlton I have learnt that I do not have to feel that I am not good enough to play with other kids. I feel confident now to tackle the older players and pass the ball to them. I think I have proved myself and feel part of a team. They are often telling me well done'.
Before the sessions Ben was very insular and lacked confidence as he was restricted by Asperger’s which had made Social Interaction difficult.
Going forward, the Trust's coaches plan to monitor Ben’s progress and, as he gets older, offer further opportunities to assist his development.