Local lads Alan and Byron are teaming up to make a difference to the ongoing development of Change Centre Dundee and believe that their lived experience can help players within the community.
Alan, who is Operational Coordinator in Dundee has recently moved in to the second year of his placement with the Rank Foundation and will be taking on a larger role. He reflects on what has been an important year for him personally, and how he intends to support Byron as he transitions in to his first year traineeship.
“I think it’s a really big year for me. I have now completed my first year and have progressed into a bigger role as part of my second year placement. I have achieved quite a lot and when I do get the chance to reflect, I realise that I have really kicked on in terms of confidence, my social skills and having a really positive mindset with others – which helps in here I think.”
“With Byron coming in, I want to make sure I am available to help him where needed. I can use my experience to give him support but also its good to have someone who is eager to learn and having done that role, I can really use my new learned communication skills to let him see how things can develop.”
Byron is little over a month into his new role at Change Centre, however highlights how much the experience has meant to him so far.
I am really excited to be taking this new role up. I have initially been shadowing Alan, who has moved into his second year, and learning a bit about the organisation and the programmes.
I’ve had a few jobs over the years and even though I have only just started here, I feel like this is the best one I’ve had by far. It just has such a family feel, everyone is so respectful.”
Starting as Trainee Operational Coordinator, Byron has been taking the experience in his stride after only realising the scale of the Change Centre once he began visiting more regularly.
“I knew a little bit about Street Soccer before this came about but since I’ve came into the Change Centre, its blew away my expectations. Its been great to meet so many new organisations and partners, all of whom speak so positively about Street Soccer which is fantastic to hear.”
“It all got going quite quickly, I feel really energised about it and with the team around me, I’m in a good place to keep progressing.”
The pair are enthusiastic about using the power of football to support more players in the local area and Alan notes how the approach of the Change Centre team has allowed him to be more supportive in his personal life too.
“Scott and I always talk about being more solution focused and finding out how we can help players – I’ve even been using that with my friends too at times, which we have a laugh about!”
“I think what I really like about the Change Centre is that we never want to stand still, we want to keep improving things. How can we make things better? How can we do more for players and the public? There are a lot of big things coming and I will be taking on a lot of new things as part of my role, which is exciting.”
With more developments on the horizon, there are a lot of exciting projects for the pair to get stuck into. Byron underlines how his involvement is already benefitting him, with a greater focus on personal development as he continues to progress.
“Being part of the Rank Foundation has allowed me to take on new opportunities and channel my passions. I have struggled in the past with jobs, just not really finding something that engaged me. I think I’ve got a really good fit here and enjoying it a lot so far.”
“The operational support role will be really important over the next year, with loads of events and fundraising opportunities lined up. I’ve been part of the weekly sessions too and I think that’s really helped my personal skills like communication and so on.”
The power of football is there for all to see within the Change Centre and with more members of staff who understand our players and their needs, the future is looking really positive.
To find out more about Change Centre and their programmes and services, head online.