Level 3 Sport student's volunteering role leads to a job supporting the local community.
Brilliant news for Ben Robinson as his voluntary role with Sport on your Doorstep leads to a paid job!
We caught up with Ben recently to ask him more about how he got involved, what his role includes and how it supports his studies at College.
Who have you been volunteering with?
Street Games is the overall company who run the programme and the coaching company that I work with is Sport On Your Doorstep. They go to local schools, youth clubs and parks and put on community sessions with coaches. They are partnered with a company called Olympia Boxing who provide boxing training which is really helpful for discipline.
What do you do?
I started by volunteering for them for two nights a week. I do Mondays at Luton Christchurch doing a mixture of activities like multi-sports, dodgeball, football or balancing for an hour. On Wednesdays I am at Luton Primary for another hour session. The children are aged from about 6 or 7 up to about 12. When it gets a bit lighter in the evening in the summer, we go in to the fields near Luton Primary and a lot more people attend and there’s a wider age range, with children up to secondary school age coming along.
How did you get involved?
I first got involved around April/May last year. One of my old tutors mentioned that a great work experience opportunity had come up for volunteer coaches that could eventually lead into paid work. So I thought, I’ll go for it. I went for an interview and then I started my first session at Strood Youth Club. In the summer I helped out at my first Fit and Fed programme. The children do four hours a day, split into two sessions. They do multi-sports and then get lunch at the end of the session. It gives the kids something to look forward to and keeps them off the streets. They’ve actually taken me on as a paid employee now.
How has the experience helped you?
The experience has really helped me with my programme. At the minute we’re going through learning techniques – the way different people learn. Last year we were looking at coaching techniques, so the volunteering really ties in well with what I am learning at College. I get to put into practice what I am learning.
Have you achieved anything else while volunteering?
I have achieved some qualifications during the time I have been volunteering. I have done a Level 1 in Working with Youth at Risk, I’m partly through a Level 2 Coaching course and just recently I have done a First Aid at Work course.
Tell us about your experience at MidKent College
I am currently in my second year at the College. I have really enjoyed the programme; it’s a nice wide variety of science-based units - looking at the body, learning techniques and coaching and then the more practical things. The tutors have been really good, the support has been great – you always get feedback on the work you’ve submitted.
One of the reasons why I decided not to go to Sixth Form and came to College was because I wanted a bit of a change from school and I like the way the programme was run. Here you get a bit more independence and it’s a bit more evident that this is your programme and your work that you are doing. I’ve liked being able take control of that and it’s not all been exam based.
What are your plans for the future?
I have applied for university and want to study Sports, Health & Exercise Science. I am still waiting to hear back from Brunel University London which is my first choice, but I have had offers from Bournemouth University and Canterbury Christ Church University. I would actually prefer to do a degree apprenticeship, but it’s harder to find those in the subjects I am interested in which is the science and mechanics behind sport and fitness. If one comes up I’ll take it, but I am more than happy to move onto university.