Palace for Life launch search for PlayMakers

Palace for Life Foundation is calling on the Crystal Palace fan base to help create opportunities for children and young people in the local community by becoming PlayMakers.

Jointly funded by the Premier League and the Professional Footballers Association, PlayMakers is about tapping into the skills and experience of Palace fans to help the Foundation improve the lives of young people in south London.

The Foundation are currently in the process of recruiting PlayMakers and have identified the type of opportunities for them to help deliver. These include:

  • Sharing unique skills and experiences
  • Presenting at school assemblies
  • Facilitating work experience placements
  • Providing Trainee and Apprenticeships
  • Helping with CVs or careers advice
  • Deeper or longer term mentoring, or life coaching

Several fans have already stepped forward to get involved:

  • Former Editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine Louise Court has pledged her time to provide life and career coaching for Foundation participants, as well as sharing her expertise in shaping the new Healthy Eagles programme.
  • Angus Robertson, Director of Operations at London Sport, has committed his time to deliver a workshop on opportunities in the Sport and Leisure Industry to participants of Palace for Life’s College Academy programmes at Bromley College, Carshalton High School for Boys and Harris South Norwood.
  • Broadcaster and journalist Saima Mohsin, who has anchored for CNN, Channel 4 and the BBC, is supporting local year 10 pupils develop their presentation skills as part of the Premier League’s Enterprise Challenge, which the Foundation delivers.
  • Journalist Andrea Perry is helping to oversee a special youth edition of the Croydon Chronicle to provide local young people with hands-on experience of publishing a community newspaper.
Saima Mohsin

Having spent years abroad, the experienced foreign correspondent has returned to south London and has been working with aspiring young entrepreneurs.

Palace fan Saima Mohsin grew up in South Norwood and has forged a highly successful career in the notoriously competitive media industry. She is keen to share her experiences with young south Londoners.

She said: “I feel incredibly lucky for the experiences I’ve had, I love coming back to south Norwood, it’s where I’m from and it’s who I am, I’m very proud to be a south Londoner. But what’s the point in doing reasonably well without helping others to do the same?

“I’m a firm believer that your life is about you, you don’t owe anyone anything and no one owes you anything, you have to grab life by the horns and try and be the best you can be at whatever it is you want to do.

“I was very much a self-starter and had to find the courage and the ambition to go out and do my own research, but along the way I’ve had some really key people to help me out. I always advise young people to find those mentors and ask for their guidance and advice. Don’t be shy to ask for help.”

Donald Forde, Deputy CEO at the Foundation added: “We developed PlayMakers in response to lifelong CPFC supporters approaching the Foundation to ask how they could get involved and make a difference. They may often hide it well on matchday, but many of our fans happen to be in very influential positions in the media, business and other professions, and have something very valuable to share – their experience, skills and connections.

“Likewise, young people in our local community, particularly in the north of the borough, are full of potential but generally don’t have access to the same range of opportunities as their peers growing up in wealthier areas. It seems a natural thing to do to bring community-minded fans and talented young people together.

“Our target is to recruit 30 PlayMakers by the end of 2018 and we would urge you to come forward if you think you can be one of them.”

If you are interested in becoming a PlayMaker, or for more information, contact DonaldForde@palaceforlife.org