Stepping Up

MFC Foundation are the pioneers of the Stepping Up Transition project.

Starting in May 2016 after consultations with schools and local authorities, it was recognised that the gap from primary to secondary school was too big for some vulnerable young people.

The project initially started with three secondary schools and 12 primary schools; it has now grown to four secondary schools and 28 primary schools (three of the four secondary schools have remained, with one new secondary school being added with an expansion in to East Cleveland).

Four full time staff are all assigned to a secondary school, and a cluster of their associated feeder primaries. Their delivery timetables are split in half across the year. From February through to July, staff work within the primary school setting, getting to know young people in year six and preparing them for their step up. In September, staff actually transition to the secondary school with them and stay with them in their new educational environment until February (the cycle then begins again with a new cohort of young people).

To supplement their school delivery, staff also deliver Premier League Kicks three evenings a week in their local communities, signposting young people from schools to the sessions. This provides wraparound care and allows more consistent and regular access to a role model for the young people to look up to.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of schools, staff have created a menu of support for young people to access to aid them with their transition to secondary school. This year in particular is going to be especially challenging, so the importance of having a ready-made mentor is going to be even more beneficial. This support can be tailored to the individual, or used as a whole by schools. Our valued partner schools will all receive these transition packs and resources.

For further information, please contact steven.bell@mfcfoundation.co.uk


Football Welcomes: Shaygan’s Story

SHAYGAN is from Iran. His story as a 20-year-old began with MFC Foundation around April 2019 as a participant in our Football Welcomes programme, the very same programme we are highlighting today, the EFL’s Day of Action.

The programme is an initiative to create a more welcoming community for those seeking refuge and asylum. He hadn’t been in the country long before he started attending sessions.

A keen student of football, Shaygan began volunteering on the Football Welcomes programme organising warm-ups, cool downs and various other activities for the participants. He also assisted in getting teams together for regular tournaments against other programmes and indeed Foundations from across the country. Other roles during this time included being an interpreter for coaches for participants from Iranian, Kurdish and Afghan backgrounds.

Upon gaining his status in the country Shaygan was able to sign up to the MFC Foundation traineeships programme. As part of his as well as gaining a number of qualifications based around football such as Sports Leader, First Aid and Safeguarding he also completed 100hrs work experience. The work experience involved him getting knowledge of a number of different programmes the Foundation deliver across the Tees Valley area.

His journey continued when he gained employment with the organisation. After completing his traineeship, he was successful in getting a 20hr a week contract as a Business Support Worker. This involved him being part of the day to day running of the MFC Foundation Herlingshaw Centre as well as assisting on many of the different programmes the Foundation delivers.

Shaygan’s next calling has taken him to London and occasional work with Amnesty UK and Fulham. But he never forgets where his new life started.