Marcus Gayle Joins Anti-Discrimination Workshop as Premier League Inspires celebrates four years of improving young peoples’ lives
Former Brentford FC player and now club ambassador, Marcus Gayle, joined students from Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls for their Premier League Inspires anti-discrimination workshop on Thursday 24 November at our Community Stadium Hub.
The session tackled issues such as racism and discrimination whilst also educating the participants on inclusivity and diversity within society.
One of the students in attendance on the day was Fallon, who said, “I learnt to be inclusive and an ally to people who need help and not to be a bully or laugh at other people who are suffering from bullying.”
Developed by the Premier League and professional football clubs, Premier League Inspires launched in 2019 and creates life-changing opportunities for young people who have been identified by their schools as needing extra support to engage with activities; helping them to develop the personal skills and positive attitudes needed to succeed in life.
Using the power of football, the programme helps to prepare 11-25-year-olds for further education and employment through a series of face-to-face mentoring sessions, workshops and social-action projects. More than 630 schools and 18,500 young people from across England and Wales have taken part in Premier League Inspires to date.
The Premier League has invested more than £9.8m into the programme, through the Premier League Charitable Fund. The Trust and Brentford FC work in partnership with local schools across West London to create a tailored programme to meet their pupils’ needs.
This season, Brentford are one of 44 professional football club community organisations across the Premier League and English Football League delivering Premier League Inspires sessions, with partnership support from the Professional Footballers’ Association.
Premier League Head of Communities, Nick Perchard, said: “The Premier League Inspires programme has enabled clubs across the country to work directly with young people most in need of support, providing them with opportunities to help them succeed at school and in life.
“The programme uses football as a hook to develop participants’ personal and life skills and it’s brilliant to see what the young people have achieved on this programme since its launch in 2019.
“We also know social action makes a difference to young people and we’re proud to give them the opportunity to tackle the issues that matter most to them and their local communities through the annual Premier League Inspires Challenge.”
Having run a pilot scheme in 2021, the Trust started to fully deliver the Premier League Inspires programme this year. The pilot schemed was trialed with Woodbridge Park Education Service Pupil Referral Unit in Hounslow and Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls in Ealing.
Working with 17 young people last year, many with high needs and complex family backgrounds, AQA qualifications were successfully achieved across both cohorts in the following areas:
- AQA Unit Award Scheme – Employability
- AQA Unit Award Scheme – Introduction to Boxercise
- AQA Unit Award Scheme – Comfort Zones
Chris Barrett, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust Education Manager, said: “As part of the Premier League Inspires programme this year we are working with three schools who have identified students who currently have a number of barriers to learning which prevent them from progressing effectively at school. Being able to draw on icons like Marcus Gayle to deliver such important topics provides a powerful message for our groups and will help empower their decision making in the future.”
Premier League Inspires also supports youth social action and volunteering in the community through a partnership with the #iwill Fund and provides young people with the opportunity to take part in the annual Premier League Inspires Challenge.
Through this, young people consider some of the challenges facing their football club and community, exploring ways to overcome these issues through positive social action.
Academy players from football clubs also support the programme, engaging with participants at sessions and events, including the annual Premier League Inspires Challenge celebration. More than 1,200 Premier League Inspires sessions across England and Wales have been supported by Academy players to date.
To find out more about Premier League Inspires, please visit premierleague.com