Inspired to Work to Goals
Three service users at the East Lancashire Inspire substance misuse service are gaining work experience as match-day stewards at their local club, Accrington Stanley FC. The volunteer work placements will help them complete a Level 2 NVQ in Spectator Safety as part of an innovative back-to- work programme run by Inspire.
Inspire is delivered in partnership by CRI, Work Solutions and Acorn Treatment & Housing and provides treatment for drug and alcohol problems and specialist support to help service users return to work.
Work Solutions employment & training consultant, Ben Kelly, worked with Accrington Stanley's security manager, Mick Schultz, to find volunteering opportunities at the club that would give Inspire service users practical work experience within their local community and help them achieve a qualification.
The volunteer stewards were assessed at work by an NVQ assessor during the Accrington Stanley v Stevenage second leg play-off in May (with a 3 nil win to Stanley!). Two have since volunteered as stewards until the end of the season, with the opportunity to take up paid employment next season, and a third is volunteering as a groundkeeper. Future volunteers from the Inspire project will be able to achieve a spectator safety qualification through Accrington Stanley's own training provider, free of charge. In addition, the club's training provider can deliver Security Industry Authority accredited training and employ successful candidates at a range of events as security and event stewards.
Nicola Guthrie, CRI implementation manager, said: "These volunteering placements with Accrington Stanley will open up further opportunities for people looking to enter the sports industry but who are lacking in qualifications or, most importantly, practical experience."
Volunteer steward John said: "Volunteering for the Accrington Stanley project has given me opportunities for training and work experience. I was able to get an NVQ in stewarding and several opportunities to volunteer during home matches. Whilst having the chance to feel part of something bigger, I have also managed to add something else to my CV."