Community

Making Friends & Building Confidence With Leicester City in the Community

Building close bonds and making young people feel more comfortable to express themselves is at the heart of a Leicester City in the Community and Premier League Kicks targeted programme – Foxes Friday.

- Foxes Friday is Leicester City in the Community’s Premier League Kicks targeted programme
- Participants take part in a blend of one-to-one mentoring and group activity sessions
- One participant - Marika - has gained confidence and communication skills through the programme
- Leicester City in the Community plan to stay in touch with participants throughout the holidays 

One-to-one mentoring at school with a coach from Leicester City in the Community, followed by weekly group activities at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, are interventions intended to help young people in Leicestershire feel more confidence and able to be their true selves. 

Funded by the Premier League Charitable Fund and Children in Need, Foxes Friday is a targeted provision which aims to develop social skills, raise self-esteem and boost confidence.

Involving Key Stage 2 children from across Leicester, one participant in particular has impressed their school teachers and Leicester City in the Community coaches. Since joining the programme, Marika, a Year 4 pupil, has made new friends and started to become more outgoing with her peers.

Leicester City in the Community’s Education Manager, Emma Lowry, was the lead on Marika’s one-to-one sessions at school, and explained how she has developed over the time they have worked together.

She really feels confident within herself now; she’s not afraid to speak to people and she’s made some brilliant friendships.

Emma Lowry Education Manager

“We really focused on building a relationship,” Emma explained. “Marika got to know me, and I got to know her. We looked at how she could develop her friendships and gradually, she started to come out of her shell.

“She really feels confident within herself now; she’s not afraid to speak to people and she’s made some brilliant friendships.”

During weekly group activities at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, all children come and spend the day together, take part in various enrichment activities and get the opportunity to build new friendships.

Marika enjoyed the group sessions in particular as it allowed her to meet new people, put her new skills into practice, and has even seen fellow Foxes Friday participants outside of the weekly sessions.

When you get to meet new people from other schools, you can actually make a good friendship, even if they are different from you.

Marika Year 4 pupil

“At the start of school, I was really shy,” Marika revealed. “I got to make new friends and actually learn more about people. When you get to meet new people from other schools, you can actually make a good friendship, even if they are different from you.”

Going forward, Leicester City in the Community will work with current and previous Foxes Friday participants throughout the summer holidays and provide ‘touch points’ to ensure there is an ongoing support package for them.

After kicking off the start of the summer holidays with a trip to Timber Festival, children have been invited to attend a residential at the National Forest, as well as a chance to watch the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

To watch Marika’s impact and Foxes Friday at Timber Festival, click HERE.

To find out more about Leicester City in the Community’s targeted provision, please contact Targeted Intervention Lead, Jake Mayes: jake.mayes@lcfc.co.uk

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