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Walsall players give advice to local school children in new scheme

20 January 2023


Walsall players give advice to local school children in new scheme

20 January 2023

For the EFL Week of Action we were happy to feature our brand new ‘Assist to Achieve’ Education Programme at our Partner School Caldmore Primary Academy.

The School has gained added support from Walsall FC Foundation to help both the children and teachers thanks to funding from Trivela.

Caldmore Primary pupils have made lifelong memories on Thursday afternoon when having the opportunity to meet Walsall FC players, Isaac Hutchison and Douglas James-Taylor, through a new programme to help them within school.

Our new ‘Assist to Achieve’ scheme aims to support selected children who require extra assistance within their learning. This direct mentoring sees that the students are motivated both in and out of school to achieve their best.

Despite the programme being in its early stages, we have already observed many improvements with the pupils and are excited to continue forward.

Trivela (an American sports investment accompany and new owners of the football club) are funding the brand new programme to make a positive impact on the children who are at a key stage in their education.

During the visit to the school, both players gave the excited pupils advice on how to get the most out of the school experience, the importance of hard work, and many other positive values for them to take away.

James-Taylor shared his experience: “My mum wanted me to stay in school to do my GCSE’s and my A-Levels. I just wanted to go and play football and I could not understand why she wouldn’t let me. I may have missed opportunities but when I look back, I am still playing, and I got everything I needed. I’m grateful my mom made me go to school; school is important in whatever you want to do.”

Wesley Hill, Board of trustees at Walsall FC and VP of Operations and Strategic Partnership at Trivela, also joined us via Zoom all the way from the United States. With children fascinated by our guest joining us from Texas, Wesley shared his wisdom on how to be successful and making the most of out of school.

When asked by a student on what he did to overcome challenges and to become successful, Wes responded: “Working really hard, wake up before others and stay later than them, just putting in the effort in. taking risks to make things happen. And be kind and nice to people along the way.”

As we work hard to improve the students learning and give them the best opportunities they can be offered, our WFC Foundation staff have already seen huge improvements despite the scheme still being in its infancy.

WFC Foundation staff member Dan – who has been working with the students, commented: “In the short amount of time I have been working at Caldmore Primary, I have already started to see big improvements and changes. Firstly the 10 highlighted pupils I have been asked to work with have all improved and progressed in their attendance, with 7/10 maintaining 100% attendance since my work with them began. 

"A stat I feel that perfectly highlights this progression is with one of the boys who really struggled with keeping his attendance up, and had a lack of motivation for school. Since working with him his attendance has jumped up from 89.71% (5.29% below the schools target) all the way to 100%”

But the school staff and foundation staff are not the only ones feeling the effect from the programme. With improvement to their own education the children are enjoying all that is to come when working with WFC Foundation.

One student said: “I do come to school everyday now and I have been working really hard. I have been coming to school on time everyday too. It helps me because I’ve been more focused.”

It’s brilliant to see that the continued hard work from the foundation staff, school, Trivela and the children themselves is having an amazing impact during such a critical point in the education system.

To reward these students for their fantastic start within the programme we were happy giveaway free t-shirts thanks to Made in the Midlands, a plaque signed by the Walsall FC squad, signed cards and matchday tickets! These gifts were personally handed over by Isaac and Douglas to make them even more special.

We look forward to welcoming these children into the stadium on Saturday where they’ll be cheering for the guys.

Thanks again to our guests from Walsall FC, Made in the Midlands, EFL Trust and PFA for joining us on the day and supporting the event.


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