Building Better Opportunities

Participant balances a football on his back

Building Better Opportunities

The Building Better Opportunities programme is delivered across Teesside and Darlington by MFC Foundation and Step Forward Tees Valley. Step Forward Tees Valley (SFTV) are funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery through the National Lottery Community Fund.

Step Forward Tees Valley supports local people to overcome the complex reasons preventing them from finding work. These barriers could include physical or mental ill health, a lack of self-confidence, a gap in skills, a conviction, or an addiction.

The programme invests in local projects that tackle the root causes of poverty and social exclusion. The overall aim of the project is to make lasting and positive change allowing participants to move, in time, into training and employment.

The project helps people to build on their strengths and aspirations, using the skills and expertise of partners and local employers to achieve their goals. The project is committed to making a real and lasting change in Tees Valley.

Step Forward Tees Valley supports people across Tees Valley to take advantage of existing voluntary or employment possibilities, as well as working with local employers to create new opportunities.

Programme Aim
In partnership with the Northern Inclusion Consortium and Step Forward Tees Valley, the Building Better Opportunities Programme is designed to support people in our local community in identifying and overcoming any barriers that they may be facing, and to help them into Employment, Education or Training. The programme targets both male and female participants aged 29 years+ with multiple barriers that effect their lives. The aim is to provide support and ultimately enable them to take control and raise their aspirations. These barriers could include physical or mental ill-health, a lack of self-confidence, a gap in skills, a conviction, or an addiction.

In short, it is a ground-breaking new opportunity to help local people reach their potential with expert help and exciting opportunities available.

MFC Foundation’s Role
The role of MFC Foundation is to provide creative and enjoyable engagement opportunities in the form of participant-centered weekly Football sessions and tournaments both in the Middlesbrough and Darlington areas. These sessions are run by qualified MFC Foundation coaches and are designed to provide a vibrant and positive environment to have fun and improve fitness, teamwork, confidence and social skills.

Upon joining the programme, participants will be assigned to a Navigator from Step Forward Tees Valley who specialise in using their experience and expertise to work closely with participants in addressing barriers and beginning the journey to take control of their own future.

For more information about the programme, contact les.curvis@mfcfoundation.co.uk, or call 01642 454816.

Find out more at www.sfteesvalley.co.uk They are also on twitter @sfteesvalley and on Facebook /stepforwardteesvalley.

 


MFC Foundation Join Daughters And Dads Active And Empowered Project

We’re delighted to announce we will be part of the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered project for the next two years.

Women in Sport, in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, EFL Trust and the University of Newcastle (Australia), is excited to announce that we are the latest to join a growing band supporting this initiative.

We’ll join Leyton Orient Trust, The Albion Foundation (West Bromwich Albion), Foundation of Light (Sunderland AFC) and the Stoke City Community Trust for year two of the project, alongside Fulham FC Foundation, who were part of the project’s inaugural pilot year.

In total, six clubs will deliver the programme for the next two years, supported by Sport England’s Families Fund through National Lottery funding.

The Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme has been developed by the University of Newcastle (Australia) and Professor Philip Morgan and his team.

The programme aims to increase physical activity levels, sports skills and social-emotional wellbeing of girls 5-11 years by challenging stereotypes about playing sport and physical activity and increase fathers’ confidence and ability to act as role models in relation to their daughter’s participation.

Rachel Horsley, Girls Football Lead Officer here at MFC Foundation, said: The philosophy behind the programme is very much in keeping with many of our own. We reach across the area with many programmes, but this one is just that little bit different. Programmes like Daughters and Dads help everyone come together, not just the dads and their daughters. Some find it easier than others to show their feelings, or to actively support and encourage. This programme helps on so many levels. It helps emotionally and physically and brings an understanding that the two work together – just like dads and their daughters.”

Eleven families took part in the project’s inaugural year, and the programme had a great impact on those that took part.  Initial findings suggest:

  • Father and father-figures on the programme mentioned growing a stronger bond with their daughters and suggested they would increase the amount of family activity they do as a result of taking part.
  • All the girls that took part in the project showed a strong belief that girls are just as capable as boys at physical activity and should be able to enjoy the same opportunities, both individually and with their family.

Women in Sport and the project partners will explore these initial findings in greater depth with a larger sample size to understand any significant impact in year two and three.

Lee Warren, Innovation Manager for the DAD Project, said: We’re delighted to have five new clubs involved in this project for the next two years alongside continuing our partnership with Fulham who have built strong foundations. We’ve already started to see the impact that the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme can have on its participants and the long-term lifestyle changes that it can deliver. We’re looking forward to seeing these clubs support more families in their local communities to get active.”

Mike Diaper, Executive Director Children, Young People and Tackling Inactivity, at Sport England said: Following a successful first year of testing the Daughters and Dads programme, we are really pleased that our National Lottery investment can now help to extend its reach into new areas across England.   We know that we need to continue to do more to help girls and less affluent families get active, and one thing that hinders this are gender stereotypes that can cause families to believe that physical activity is less important for girls than boys.  We also know that parents and carers often see their role as helpers and less as role models in encouraging their children to be active. This programme, based on a model from Australia, is addressing these challenges and we look forward to seeing the results of this in the North East, West Midlands and London.”

For more information on the Research and Advice Service and Women in Sport’s work visit www.womeninsport.org.