Forth Valley College seeking new recruits for Centre Forward programme

Organisers of a partnership between Forth Valley College and Falkirk Football Community Foundation (FFCF) are looking to sign new recruits.

The Centre Forward programme was awarded £100,000 in funding from the National Lottery Community Fund Young Start Programme in August and 12 eligible students were quickly recruited.

Those who run the partnership are now seeking a dozen more young people — aged between 16 and 24 — with learning disabilities to help them achieve their aspirations, develop existing skills and improve their confidence through sport and physical activity.

The programme for the second Centre Forward group is due to start on Wednesday, October 28.

Pauline Barnaby, Forth Valley College development and fundraising manager, and David Stewart, Falkirk Football Community Foundation community manager. Contributed.

Forth Valley College’s Department of Business and Communities, whose staff have extensive expertise in this area, has teamed up with FFCF to use a ‘Development through Sport’ model to help accelerate learning and development, as well as promote self-esteem and confidence.

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Combined with certificated SQA units, the project will offer a comprehensive suite of skills that will enable each young person taking part to overcome their individual barriers to progression.

All of the classroom-based workshops are coupled with practical sport and physical activity sessions to enhance skills for work, decision-making, problem-solving and teamwork, whilst enhancing feelings of belonging, contribution and achievement.

In addition, Centre Forward participants will also be enrolled as Forth Valley College students and benefit from the range of student resources available, including access to the Learning Resource Centre, student services and on-campus gym, upon further easing of current coronavirus restrictions.

During its first two years of existence, 25 young people with learning disabilities have taken part in Centre Forward, successfully completing 189 qualifications in the process and engaging with the local community through volunteering at more than ten events.

The young students have also raised awareness with Falkirk district companies through links developed with the Falkirk Business Bairns and DYW Forth Valley.

The new funding will allow the course to keep going for at least another three years.

Anyone who would like to find out more about Centre Forward, or those interested in applying, can visit the website.

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