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"THERE’S A REAL KUDOS ABOUT WORKING WITH LATICS WHICH CAN INSPIRE YOUNG PEOPLE", SAYS SHEILA MARTLAND FROM WIGAN COUNCIL

28 September 2018

Wigan Athletic Community Trust have worked with more than 350 youngsters as part of Pathway 2 Participation.

  • Pathway 2 Participation is a mentoring programme for 12-19 year olds.
  • Scheme improves youngsters’ health, wellbeing and self-confidence.
  • Click here to read a participant led evaluation of the programme.

Pathway 2 Participation works with some of the most vulnerable young people in Wigan between the ages of 12-19 and aims to improve their self-confidence to enable them to take part in more sporting, educational and leisure opportunities.

Organised in partnership with Wigan Youth Zone and Inspiring healthy lifestyles and supported by the Big Lottery Fund and Wigan Council, the activities that young people take part in include sports at Wigan Youth Zone, team building activities such as canoeing and outdoor adventure as well as giving something back to their own communities by helping to clean up local canals.

The programme was highlighted in the Community Trust’s 2018 Impact Report, which demonstrated how the charity have worked with more than 12,000 people over the past year to improve health, enhance life chances and create stronger, safer communities.

Sheila Martland, Service Manager for Targeted Youth Support at Wigan Council, has played an instrumental role in establishing the innovative scheme which has helped to re-connect young people with positive activities in their own communities.

She said: “Wigan Council invest into the Pathway 2 Participation programme as it is part of our policy to support community schemes by working with partners from the third sector, which includes Wigan Athletic Community Trust who are a very well respected organisation with the borough.

“The impact the scheme has had on young people has been massive, and the Community Trust have worked with individuals with very complex needs, ranging from those who are socially isolated to those with special educational needs and emotional and behavioural issues.”

One of the key factors in its success has been the way project staff have worked with young people to find out what they want from the scheme and what it is they wish to achieve.

“The programme is very person-centred so engagement is key and these youngsters have embarked on a journey with the Community Trust to build up their self-confidence and enable them to socially interact with others and improve their communication skills.

“What we want to see is youngsters using the programme to be able to move on with their lives and to engage more widely in their communities. The Community Trust take pride in motivating and growing young people in Wigan to become more active citizens.

“There’s a real kudos about working with a professional football club and young people can be inspired by this when they’re working with someone wearing the Latics tracksuit. Pathway 2 Participation is a very vital part of our jigsaw in our offering to young people across the borough.”

12-year-old Jack is just one of the hundreds of young people who have benefited from the scheme, having been referred due to his poor behaviour at school which led to him becoming at risk of exclusion.

Working alongside the Community Trust over a three month period helped him to improve his communication skills and tolerance of others, enabling him to return to a full timetable at school as well as improving his relationship with his Mum.

She said: “Pathway 2 Participation gave Jack somewhere to be and staff helped him to make new friends and think about his actions and behaviour at home and in school. He isn’t perfect but things have improved for him.”

Please email Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Pathway 2 Participation Co-ordinator Dave Coppin on d.coppin@wiganathletic.com or call 01942 318090 for more information about the programme.


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