Season of giving: PlayMakers in action

Seven PlayMakers have been in action this month volunteering their time, knowledge and expertise to enhance the work of the Foundation and support young south Londoners. The PlayMakers volunteering programme has brought the club and local community closer together by creating opportunities for young people by connecting them with fans in industries across London’s private, public and voluntary sectors.

Andrew Graham during his interview with Jaden in the Malcolm Allison Lounge, Selhurst Park

Andrew Graham, a retired professional with nearly 40 years of experience in the banking and non-profit sector, has been volunteering at the Foundation offices twice a week since 2016 to support with a range of administrative tasks and also assists at various fundraising and sporting events. Andrew also dedicated some time last week to help Jaden, 18, with a creative media project as part of his traineeship placement. Andrew explained that he likes the variety of his role and the best part was the opportunity to learn things about the Foundation and CPFC.

Darren Amer, customer experience and UX designer, spent the afternoon as a Dragon’s Den judge hearing pitches from four teams at Bensham Manor School on Wednesday 5th December as part of the Premier League Enterprise programme.  Students benefited from Darren’s entrepreneurial expertise as he provided them with feedback to develop their business ventures further. Darren previously supported the Foundation by leading a focus group which identified key audiences and proved integral to the design of a new website.

Darren enjoyed the experience commenting:

“The quality, creativity, thought and effort of the students at Bensham Manor school was simply brilliant. The personality of the ideas and the quality of the pitches for such a young group was impressive and they communicated their ideas excellently. On a personal note, it was rewarding to be asked to be involved and meet such an inspired bunch of students who put a lot of hard work and passion into their projects which really showed in their end products.”

Dr Dev Thakker leading a Q&A

Dr Dev Thakker was a guest speaker at the first ever Healthy Eagle’s Adult Health and Nutrition workshop in Thornton Heath on Tuesday 27th November. As a junior doctor local to the area Dev was keen to support the free health and nutrition workshop for adults who might want support managing their weight. Delivered in partnership with Parchmore Medical Centre, the community engagement initiative covered topics such as: mindfulness, how to read food labels, lifestyle medicine, a Q&A with Dr Dev and included peer-led discussions and goal setting.

Khalil Goddard, head teacher, has been volunteering his spare time to support Sabirina’s, 20, creative writing. As a reward for her commitment to the youth anthology project, Sabirina has been given the opportunity to have a poem published in a match day programme and Khalil has been working with her to develop a masterpiece. Sabirina explained how useful Khalil’s mentoring has been:

“I really do appreciate having someone such as [Khalil] take a look and give experienced suggestions as that is the best way for me to improve, especially with something like creative writing. I will 100% take the suggestions on board. I’m also glad [he] enjoyed the poems too!”

Left: Paul Coen and Saima Mohsin with the winners from Carshalton High School for Girls

Paul Coen, wealth manager, and Saima Mohsin, international broadcaster and foreign correspondent, were special guests on the judging panel for the play-offs of the Premier League Enterprise Challenge on Wednesday 28th November at Selhurst Park where seven school pitched their business plans to increase the engagement of young football fans. Students from Carshalton High School for Girls impressed judges most with their ideas winning the honour of representing CPFC in the finals next year in Brighton. Read more.

Paul explained:

“The best part was seeing young adults think creatively and not be afraid to present their ideas in front of strangers.”

Stephen Barton conducting IT training at Selhurst Park

Stephen Barton, IT trainer, spent the day at the Foundation offices on Friday 30th November conducting a Training Needs Analysis and upskilling staff on how to make the best use of Microsoft Excel. Stephen will be using his findings to help create future sessions with planned exercises and examples when he returns in December for a more enhanced training session.

Stephen is motivated to “mak[e] a small difference by sharing ideas about efficient non-frontline/admin processes with the hope it gives the team more time which can be dedicated to frontline services.”

We are grateful to all our PlayMakers for giving up their time to support our work.

If you are interested in becoming a PlayMaker, or for more information, contact Zaynab Osman.