As a Football Association, Surrey FA aims to lead the development of grassroots football within Surrey, ensuring participation and enjoyment of football for all. The Youth Forum ‘offers a unique opportunity to develop yourself as a part of Surrey FA representing young people to develop football within the county’.
Engaging directly with the young people also helped us reach an audience of potential volunteers, assisting them in volunteer & youth board recruitment.Surrey FA
What happened on the visit?
Every year, the FA runs diversity campaigns to improve the diversity of and inclusivity within football. A couple of members from the youth board introduced the FA, their role and the challenge they wanted help with. NCS teams were asked to come up with ideas for the next diversity campaign at the FA and to design and plan their proposed campaign.
Teams came up with inventive and thorough campaigns around subjects such as women in football, mental health in football and ensuring football is accessible for individuals with disabilities.
Why was it a successful visit for young people?
The session appealed to many of the young people’s interest in football (particularly as it happened around the time of the world cup) and managed to engage some of the individuals who didn’t always engage with other aspects of the NCS curriculum.
The young people worked really well to complete the task as they could see that their ideas may be taken up by the FA, who may actually use their campaigns (in some form). The task also allowed the young people to be really creative and bring in their own passions and values; e.g. they could bring in their belief in inclusion & diversity through a campaign around anti-racism. This enabled the task to be completely youth lead.
Having the session lead by members of the youth forum gave the young people some great role models of what young people can do/learn through volunteering. It also demonstrated that there are so many different ways young people can volunteer, according to what they are interested in; increasing the attractiveness of volunteering to individuals who had previously dismissed it as ‘not for them’. This was consolidated by the youth board directly offering the young people the chance to volunteer with them.
Staff reported that the young people found the session:
- “really eye-opening, as they didn’t really think that something like that existed. They learnt that there is more to the FA than football.”
- “Really engaging and helped broaden their knowledge, helping them appreciate things.”
Why was it a successful visit for the partner?
Running the session was a great chance for the youth forum members to practice their leadership and public speaking skills. It worked as a focus group for the FA as they received lots of ideas and learned more about what would appeal to the young people – which will directly inform their upcoming campaigns.
It was also great publicity for the FA who are keen to better reach younger generations (such as the young people) and, as well as engaging directly with these 60 teenagers, it helped give them a quasi-focus group to gather ideas of how best to do reach others their age.
Engaging directly with the young people also helped the FA reach an audience of potential volunteers, assisting them in volunteer and youth board recruitment.