The Day of Action gives Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two clubs the opportunity to showcase the work being done to tackle a diverse range of issues within the community.
Kicks International is one of many programmes run by the Trust for youngsters and adults in the local area, and aims to use the appeal of football to give young people the opportunity to play the game in a friendly atmosphere whilst also making friends and building confidence.
Abdulrahman Abubakar is a shining example of just how the Trust can turn lives around, with the Kicks International programme not only helping him to settle into a new city and country, but providing a pathway into paid work.
Abdul arrived in Hull as a refugee after fleeing his home country Eritrea fearing for his own life due to political unrest. Unable to speak English and feeling alone and isolated, he attended the local Refugee Council who pointed him in the direction of the Tigers Trust and, in particular, the Kicks International programme.
In the little under two years that Abdul has been attending sessions his life in Hull has been transformed. Learning English has helped him to integrate into the community and enter into the education system, gaining a number of GCSEs and qualifications in computer studies, whilst he has also moved onto the Trust’s Premier League Works programme which is geared towards helping young adults aged 18-25 gain further qualifications and work experience.
Speaking about the Kicks International programme, Abdul said: “The Kicks International programme provides a nice environment for me to meet friends, play football, gain qualifications and interact with a range of people of different nationalities. Most of all it creates an environment away from all the negative things that people can get involved with.”
Such has been Abdul’s progress that, not only is he gaining his own qualifications, he is also helping others on the course who are struggling with language barriers, becoming a real role model and mentor for fellow participants.
Kayleigh Jackson, Social Inclusion Lead Officer for the Tigers Trust, has witnessed that progress first hand and said: “When Abdul initially came to the Kicks International sessions he was a very quiet and timid character. His personal development has seen his confidence levels increase and this is shown by his willingness to now help others, and he has proved to be an excellent role model for other participants.”
Abdul’s efforts on the Kicks International and Premier League Works programmes have also seen him gain paid work within the Tigers Trust, something that Premier League Works Co-Ordinator Matt Barr is delighted about.
“Abdul showed great potential from the off, going above and beyond by mentoring other participants during the courses without being asked. This showed his willingness to help those who found themselves in the same situation he had found himself in. Since the initial course he has continued to volunteer on the Premier League Works programme, most recently translating and giving additional assistance to participants.
“He is now a paid member of the Tigers Trust and I feel this is fully deserved due to the hard work he has already given to our projects.”
For further details on the work of the Tigers Trust visit www.tigerstrust.co.uk